Before your loan goes into repayment you'll need to select a repayment plan that best fits your financial situation. If you need assistance or further information, be sure to contact your loan servicer and use the online calculators that will help you determine your payment amount. You will be allowed to choose from these plans:
Under the Standard Repayment Plan, you will pay a fixed amount of at least $50 each month for up to 10 years. For most borrowers, this plan results in the lowest total interest paid because the repayment period is shorter than it would be under any of the other repayment plans.
This plan may be beneficial if your income is low when you leave school but is likely to steadily increase. Payments start out low and then increase every two years. The minimum payment equals the amount of interest that accrues monthly for up to the maximum repayment period - 10 years for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS Loans, and 10-30 years for Consolidation Loans (depending on the total loan indebtedness).
You may choose this plan if you did not have an outstanding balance on a FFEL or Direct Program loan as of October 7, 1998 or on the date you obtained a student loan after that date and have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loan Program loans (Note: FFEL and Direct Loans cannot be combined to meet this minimum). Under this plan:
Available for Direct Loans only, this plan bases the monthly payment on your yearly income, family size and loan amount. As your income rises or falls, so do your payments. After 25 years of making payments, any remaining balance on your loan will be forgiven (although you may have to pay taxes on the forgiven portion).*Note: High loan debt and low income could possibly mean a calculated payment of $0 under this plan.
Available for FEEL, Direct Stafford, Grad PLUS and Consolidation loans (that did not repay a Parent PLUS) that are not in default, this plan requires monthly payments that are capped at an amount intended to be affordable based on your income and family size. The maximum repayment period is 25 years, and if certain requirements are met, any remaining balance will be forgiven (cancelled). For new borrowers on or after 7/1/2014, the outstanding loan balance will be forgiven after 20 years of making payments under this plan.
Eligibility: you are eligible to repay your loan under IBR if the monthly payment calculated under the Standard repayment plan is more than the IBR monthly payment amount. You must document your 'partial financial hardship' (PFH) by providing your AGI or alternative income documentation annually on your IBR anniversary date to determine your eligibility and calculate your IBR payment amount. If you no longer qualify for PFH at your annual evaluation, your payments will be recalculated on a 10-year Standard Repayment plan, and unpaid interest is capitalized (added to the loan's principle balance). Check the online IBR information web page for additional information.