Federal Student Loan Repayment
The federal government paused student loan payments and set interest rates to 0% for eligible federal student loans during the COVID-19 emergency. The refund benefit ended on August 28, 2023. Federal student monthly loan interest resumed on September 1, 2023. Please go to the following links for
- 6 ways to Prepare for Student Loan Repayment to Begin Again
- Prepare for Student Loan Payments to Restart
- Entering Repayment for the First Time
Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans
These are the traditional plans for paying off federal student loans.
You are given this repayment plan automatically. You will pay a fixed amount per month.
- Pro: You'll pay off your loan faster.
- Con: Your monthly payment might be high.
The graduated plan gives you a low monthly payment in the beginning, then increases your payment amount every two years.
- Pro: You'll pay less per month to start.
- Con: Your monthly payments will increase even if your income doesn't.
Your monthly payments are lower, over a longer period. You must have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans. Payments can be a fixed or graduated amount and are paid off withing 25 years.
- Pro: You'll pay less per month.
- Con: You'll pay more in interest and it will take longer to pay off your loans.
These plans provide payment amounts that are dependend on your post-grad income.
Interest Rate: Depending on the selected plan, you'll pay between 10% and 20% of your discretionary income toward your loans each month.
There are four income-driven repayment plans:
- SAVE - Saving on a Valuable Education Plan (formerly REPAYE Plan)
- PAYE - Pays As You Earn Repayment Plan
- IBR - Income-Based Repayment Plan
- ICR - Income-Contingent Repayment Plan
You will need to fill out an application if you would like to use an income-driven plan. Your loan servicer can help you apply for income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness and more.
Timing: Loan balance will be forgiven after making on-time payment for 20-30 years.
Repayment Plan Comparison
We suggest that you go to your loan servicer's website, create a login and password for your account, and then use their loan repayment calculator to get estimated repayment amounts based on your current Direct Loan debt. You can also estimate your monthly student loan payments with the Loan Simulator on the Federal Student Aid website.
Sign up for automatic debit payments with your loan servicer and receive an interest rate deduction.
Change your repayment plan if you have difficulty making payments. You aren't stuck with your original plan.