Repaying your student loans is not an option – it's a must. However, you do have several options when it comes to how and when you repay:
With the standard plan, you'll pay a fixed amount every month (at least $50) until your loans are paid in full. This plan may charge the lowest interest rate, but you'll have to pay it off the quickest – usually within 10 years.
If you need to make smaller monthly payments, the extended plan is a good option. You'll have up to 25 years to make fixed annual or graduated payments – so you can pay in smaller amounts. However, because you're taking longer to repay your loan, you'll pay more in interest. This plan requires an outstanding loan balance of $30,000.
Like the standard plan, you'll have to repay your loan within 10 years. However, with the graduated plan, your payments can start out low, but will then increase every two years. This is a good option for you if you expect your income to steadily increase over time.
Under this option, your monthly payments are based on your income during financial hardship. As your income rises or falls, so will your monthly payments. The amount of your payment is refigured every year, based on your annual income, household size, and loan amount. Your maximum repayment period may exceed 10 years, and you may qualify for a cancellation of your outstanding balance.
The Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan helps keep your monthly student loan payments affordable, and usually has the lowest monthly payment amount of the repayment plans that are based on your income. If you need to make lower monthly payments, this plan may be for you.
This plan is available for those who have any federal Direct Loan other than a PLUS loan. Each year, your monthly payments will be calculated based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Your monthly payment will be the lesser of:
This plan is available for those who have a FFELSM loan. Your payments will be based on your expected monthly gross income and must cover accruing interest. The maximum repayment period is 10 years.
If you're having difficulty meeting your loan payments, contact your loan holder immediately. Your loan holder may be able to offer an alternative payment arrangement through forbearance or deferment to temporarily suspend or reduce your payments.
Speak with a Representative about various loan repayment options.
Apply for Forbearance to temporarily lower or postpone your payments.
Apply for Deferment to temporarily suspend your regular payments.