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Loan Payment Plans

For information on the repayment plans listed below and the qualifying terms for each of the loan repayment programs, visit the U.S. Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education recommends using their Repayment Estimator to see which plans you may be eligible for and estimate monthly and overall payments.

Repayment Plan Description Time Frame At a Glance Comparison
Standard repayment  The monthly payment is a fixed amount. Up to 10 years You will pay less overall because there is less time to accrue interest.
Graduated repayment  The monthly payment is lower at first and gradually increases every two years. Up to 10 years You will pay slightly more than the standard plan due to accrued interest during the low payment years.
Extended repayment  The monthly payments are spread across more years. Up to 25 years You will pay a lower monthly payment than the standard plan, but you will pay more over the life of the loan due to accrued interest.
Income-based repayment  

The monthly payment is calculated based on income. You must have a partial financial hardship to qualify.

The maximum monthly payment would be 15 percent of your discretionary income.

Up to 25 years

You will pay a lower monthly payment than the standard plan, but you will pay more over the life of the loan. If the loan is not repaid in full after 25 years of qualifying monthly payments, any outstanding balance will be forgiven. You may have to pay income tax on the forgiven debt.

Click here for the qualifications of this plan.

Pay as you earn repayment 

This is similar to income-based repayment with stricter guidelines of financial hardship.

The maximum monthly payment would be 10 percent of your discretionary income.

Up to 20 years

Your monthly payment will be slightly lower than the income-based plan, but you will pay more over the life of loan. If the loan is not repaid in full after 20 years of qualifying monthly payments, any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven. You may have to pay income tax on the forgiven debt.

Click here for the qualifications of this plan.

Income-contingent repayment  The monthly payment is calculated each year based on adjusted gross income, family size and total amount of direct loans. Up to 25 years Your monthly payment will be lower than the standard plan, but you will pay more over the life of the loan. If the loan is not repaid in full after 25 years of qualifying payments, any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven. You may have to pay income tax on the forgiven debt.
Income-sensitive repayment  The monthly payment is based on annual income and change as your income changes. Up to 10 years You will pay more over the life of the loan than the standard plan. The monthly payment can vary between different lenders.
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