Visit our Hero’s Guide to Strategic Student Loan Repayment for more comprehensive and in-depth guidance.
How do I repay my federal student loans?
Your repayment options will depend on the type of loans you have. The most common repayment plans include the following:
- Standard 10-Year Repayment Plan. Monthly payments are based on the loan size and interest rate. You pay off the entire loan in 120 equal monthly payments, which is the equivalent of 10 years. Income is not considered. You will be placed in this plan after the end of your Grace Period or when you drop to less than half-time enrollment status or withdraw from school unless you select an alternative.
- Extended Fixed Standard Repayment Plans: Monthly payments are based on the loan size and interest rate. Repayment periods range from 15-30 years.
- Graduated Repayment Plans. Monthly payments are based on the loan size and interest rate. Payments start out low but increase every few years throughout the life of the plan. Note: You will pay more overall in a graduated repayment plan versus a fixed repayment plan with the same payback period.
- Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans. Payments and loan term are based on your income. You must recertify your income each year. There are four different repayment plans under IDR: Revised Pay as you Earn, Pay as you Earn, Income-Based Repayment, and Income-Contingent Repayment.
Caution: If you plan to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you must enroll in an IDR plan. Your loans will determine the specific IDR plans you are eligible for.
How do I calculate my monthly payment?
The Federal Student Aid Loan Simulator is a helpful tool. You can sign in using your FSAID to auto populate your current federal student loans, or you can manually enter your student loans. You will be asked for additional information, including your Adjusted Gross Income, to determine the various payment options.
Not sure who your federal student loan servicer is?
Log into the Federal Student Aid using your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to find out who your servicer is for your federal student loans. You can also call FSA at 800-433-3243.
Contact your student loan servicer to discuss your options and enroll in a repayment plan. If you have questions or want to get unbiased advice, contact us.
Set a repayment goal! If your student loan balance is manageable, the sooner you repay it, the less you will pay in interest and the faster you will be able to move on with your life. If your loan balance is really high, get help. You should still have a strategy.