Your loan holder should inform you of your repayment terms before you enter repayment. There are a variety of repayment plans available. If you are considering another repayment plan, ask your loan holder which option is best for you. Your account will be placed on a standard repayment plan unless you request a different plan from your loan holder.


  • Smartest choice.
  • You can prepay all or part of your loan at any time without penalty.
  • Prepayment may substantially decrease your total interest costs.
  • Be sure to indicate on any prepayment that your loan holder should apply it to the principal balance.

Standard Repayment

  • Lowest total cost if you are not prepaying.
  • Fixed schedule of equal monthly payments.
  • Maximum 10-year repayment period.
  • Minimum $50 monthly payment.
  • Ideal for borrowers capable of meeting full monthly principal and interest payments.

Graduated Repayment

  • Short-term relief.
  • Monthly schedule that starts with small payments that gradually increase over time.
  • Maximum 10-year repayment period.
  • Your loan holder will set your minimum monthly payment, which generally must at least equal the amount of your monthly interest.
  • Assumes your income will grow over time to cover the increasing loan payments.

Income-Sensitive Repayment

  • Temporary safety-net.
  • Monthly schedule that fixes payments for one year at a time. Payments may increase or decrease each year as your income rises or falls.
  • Maximum 10-year repayment period that can be extended annually up to five years if your payments are less than the standard principal and interest.
  • Your loan holder will set your minimum monthly payment based on income documentation you provide.
  • Monthly payments generally range from 4 percent to 25 percent of your monthly gross income.

Extended Repayment

  • Available if you received your oldest outstanding loan through the FFEL Program on or after October 7, 1998, and if your total FFEL Program loan debt exceeds $30,000.
  • Fixed annual or graduated repayment schedule.
  • Maximum 25-year repayment period.
  • Your loan holder will set your minimum monthly payment, which must at least equal the amount of interest due. The minimum annual payment amount is $600.

Income-Based Repayment

  • For borrowers with "partial financial hardship."
  • Payment amounts may be limited to no more than 15% of the amount by which the borrower's (and, if applicable, the borrower's spouse's) annual adjusted gross income exceeds 150% of the poverty line applicable to the borrower's family size, divided by 12. For assistance with estimating your monthly payments under the income-based repayment plan, use Mapping Your Future's (MYF) online income-based repayment calculator.
  • Available to Federal Stafford Loan borrowers (subsidized or unsubsidized loans) and graduate or professional PLUS loan borrowers.
  • Maximum repayment period may be between 10 and 25 years.

Repayment Amounts

Whether you took out $1,000 or $10,000 in loans, if you want to know what your monthly payments might be, this repayment chart can help you.