Lower Payment Options

Do you need a lower monthly payment? Log into Manage My Account and select 'Lower My Payments' on the left to explore various repayment options and to see if you qualify for a reduced payment as low as $0.00!

Below you will find descriptions and requirements for each available repayment plan. Not sure of your loan type?

Options Which Allow for a $0.00 Payment

Pay As You Earn - Direct Loans Only

NEW! – for New Direct Loan Borrowers Only

This plan is available to NEW Direct Loan borrowers except borrowers of Direct Parent PLUS loans or Direct Consolidation Loans IF they paid off a Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Direct Stafford, Direct Graduate PLUS, and Direct Consolidation Loans (excluding those that paid off Direct Parent PLUS loans) are eligible.

If you are a Direct Loan borrower who has no balance on a Direct or FFELP loan as of October 1, 2007, or has no balance on a Direct or FFELP loan on the date you obtained new loan after October 1, 2007 AND received a disbursement (first or any subsequent disbursement) of a Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, or Grad PLUS loan on/after October 1, 2011 OR obtained Direct Consolidation loan from an application received on/after October 1, 2011, and all of the underlying Direct and/or FFELP loans were first disbursed on/after October 1, 2007 you may be eligible for Pay As You Earn. You will qualify for Pay As You Earn if the annual amount due on all of your eligible loans exceeds 10% of the difference between your adjusted gross income (AGI)*, as shown on your federal income tax return, and 150% of the poverty line amount for your family size. If your loan(s) is not repaid in full after you have made the equivalent of 20 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 20 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness.

Income-Based Repayment - Direct Loans and FFELP Loans

During Income Based Repayment (IBR), your monthly payments are based on your eligible federal student loan debt, income, family size, and state of residence and it is designed to help borrowers experiencing "partial financial hardship". You are considered to have a partial financial hardship if the annual amount due on all of your eligible loans exceeds 15% of the difference between your adjusted gross income (AGI)*, as shown on your federal income tax return, and 150% of the poverty line amount for your family size. If you are approved for IBR, you are required to annually certify your income and family size. If your annual income and family size information is not received by your annual renewal date, your payment will increase to what you would be required to pay under a Standard 10-year repayment plan. If your loan(s) is not repaid in full after you have made the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 25 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness.

COMING JULY 2014! – for New Direct Loan Borrowers Only

If you are a Direct Loan borrower who has no outstanding balance on a FFELP or Direct loan on July 1, 2014 OR no outstanding balance on the date you obtain a new Direct loan after July 1, 2014, you will qualify for IBR if the annual amount due on all of your eligible loans exceeds 10% of the difference between your adjusted gross income (AGI), as shown on your federal income tax return, and 150% of the poverty line amount for your family size. If your loan(s) is not repaid in full after you have made the equivalent of 20 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 20 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness.

Learn More About Income-based Repayment

Income-Contingent Repayment - Direct Loans Only

This plan is available to all Direct Loan borrowers except borrowers of Direct Parent PLUS loans or Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans. Direct Stafford, Direct Graduate PLUS, and Direct Consolidation Loans (even if they paid off Parent PLUS loans) are eligible. Note that if your loan(s) entered repayment prior to July 1, 1996 and you have been repaying under ICR prior to July 1, 1996, you may have a different ICR payment calculation.

During Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), your monthly payments are based on your eligible federal student loan debt, income, and family size and you are required to annually certify your income and family size. If your annual income and family size information is not received by your annual renewal date, your payment will increase to what you would be required to pay under a Standard 10-year repayment plan. Your ICR payment is the lesser of 20% of your discretionary income OR the amount you would repay annually over 12 years using a standard amortization multiplied by an income percentage factor based your adjusted gross income (AGI)* and whether you are single or married/head of household. If your loan(s) is not repaid in full after you have made the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 25 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness.

Other Repayment Options

Standard Repayment - Direct Loans and FFELP Loans

With the standard plan, you pay a fixed amount each month until your loans are paid in full. Your monthly payment will be at least $50, and you will have up to 10 years to repay your loans.

The standard plan is good for you if you can handle higher monthly payments because you'll repay your loans more quickly. Your monthly payment under the standard plan may be higher than it would be under the other plans because your loans will be repaid in the shortest amount of time. The 10-year limit for repayment also means you may pay the least amount of interest.

Graduated Repayment - Direct Loans and FFELP Loans

With this plan your payments start out low and increase every two years. The length of your repayment period will be up to ten years. This plan may be right for you if you expect your income to increase steadily over time. Your monthly payment will never be less than the amount of interest that accrues between payments. Although your monthly payment will gradually increase, no single payment under this plan will be more than three times greater than any other payment.

Extended Repayment - Direct Loans and FFELP Loans

To be eligible for the extended plan, you must have more than $30,000 in FFELP or Direct Loan debt. Under the extended plan you have 25 years for repayment and two payment options: fixed or graduated. Fixed payments are the same amount each month (like the standard plan), while graduated payments start low and increase every two years (like the graduated plan). Extended repayment may be right for you if you need to make smaller monthly payments. Because the repayment period will be 25 years, your monthly payments will be less than on the standard plan. You may pay more in interest, however, because you will take longer to repay the loans. Remember that a longer repayment term equals more interest over the life of your loan.

Income-Sensitive Repayment - FFELP Loans Only

The Income-Sensitive Repayment schedule allows you to request a reduced monthly installment amount for a 12-month period.  Your installment amount will be based on a percentage of your monthly gross income from all sources and the amount of interest that accumulates on your loan(s) each month. Please note, if this schedule is selected, we must collect and review your income documentation annually in order to adjust your payment amount accordingly. You may reapply for up to five (5) years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I request to change my repayment plan?

Log into Manage My Account and select 'Lower My Payments' on the left to explore various repayment options and to see if you qualify for a reduced payment. You may visit our forms page to obtain a paper repayment change application. You may also contact us for assistance.

If I requested a change to my repayment plan, how will I know my request was approved?

If your account is placed on a new repayment option, you will receive a notice by mail or email regarding the details of your new repayment schedule.

If I change my repayment plan, will the total amount I have to repay stay the same?

In general, the lower your monthly payment, the more interest you will pay over the life of your loan(s). Student loans accrue interest on a daily basis, so the longer you take to pay it back, the more interest you will accrue. You can use this repayment calculator to determine the amount of interest you would repay under various repayment plans.