Stafford loan borrowers have plenty of repayment plans to choose from, so choose the plan that works best financially for you. You can use the repayment comparison calculator to find out what your monthly payment would be under different plans.
Typically this is the least expensive option in terms of total interest costs. Most federal education loan borrowers are placed into this repayment plan once the grace period has expried. This option provides a fixed monthly payment of at least $50 over a period of up to 10 years. Find out more about Standard Repayment.
Monthly payments are initially lower and then increase later in the repayment schedule. Graduated repayment may be a good choice if you currently have limited income but expect higher earnings in the future. The maximum repayment term under this option is 10 years. Total interest costs are higher under this option than with standard repayment. Find out more about Graduate Repayment.
Under this plan you may reduce the amount of your monthly payment by spreading payments over a period of up to 25 years. You can select either a Standard-Extended Plan or a Graduated-Extended Plan. In addition, extended repayment is only available if you have an outstanding education loan balance of more than $30,000. Because payments are stretched over a longer term, total interest costs will be significantly higher than under the other repayment plans. Find out more about Extended Repayment.
Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is designed to reduce monthly payments to assist with making your student loan debt manageable. To qualify for IBR, you must have a partial financial hardship. This means that the monthly amount you would be required to pay under a standard 10-year repayment is higher than what you would pay under IBR. Find out more about Income-Based Repayment.
Income-sensitive repayment is an option available for Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans, meaning you used a third-party bank or credit union as your lender. With an income-sensitive plan, your monthly loan payment is based on your annual income. As your income increases or decreases, so do your payments. The maximum repayment period is 10 years. Total interest will be higher with this option than with standard repayment. Find out more about Income-Sensitive Repayment for FFELP loans.
This option is available for Direct loans, except Direct Parent PLUS loans. Each year, your monthly payments will be calculated on the basis of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) plus your spouse's income if you are married, family size, and the total amount of your Direct loans. Under the ICR plan, you will pay each month the lesser of:
- The amount you would pay if you repaid your loan in 12 years multipied by an income percentage factor that varies with your annual income OR
- 20% of your monthly discretionary income
Find out more about Income-Contingent Repayment.
Pay As You Earn plan requires that you have a partial financial hardship. This means that the monthly amount you would be required to pay under a standard 10-year repayment is higher than what you would pay under Pay As You Earn. You may select this option if your first loan was disbursed after October 1, 2007 and must have received a Direct Loan on or after October 1, 2011. This is available for Direct Loans only with the exception of Direct Parent PLUS loans and Direct Consolidated loans that repaid Parent PLUS. Find out more about Pay As You Earn.