Pay for College

Explore college costs and plan how you'll pay for your degree or certificate.

What's the Difference Between Repayment Plans?

Learn how plans compare in repayment period and other details

If you're wondering how federal student loan repayment plans differ in terms of repayment period, loan type, and other factors, here's a handy comparison tool.

PLANS LOAN TYPE* REPAYMENT AMOUNT TERM (YEARS) DETAILS

Standard

FDLP and FFELP

Fixed

10

Automatically assigned plan unless you change plans

Graduated

FDLP and FFELP

Increases every two years

10

More interest accrues than with Standard plan

Extended

FDLP and FFELP

Fixed or graduated

Up to 25

To qualify, you must have at least $30,000 in FDLP or FFELP loans

Income-sensitive

FFELP only

Based on annual income; increases with income

Up to 10

Formula for determining repayment amount can vary

Income-contingent

FDLP only

Based on discretionary income*

Up to 25

Loan forgiveness after 25 years of qualifying payments

Income-Based**

FDLP and FFELP

10% of discretionary income; increases with income

Up to 20 (240 qualifying payments)

Requires a partial financial hardship*; loan forgiveness available

Pay As You Earn

FDLP only

10% of discretionary income; increases with income

Up to 20 (240 qualifying payments)

Requires a partial financial hardship; must be a new borrower*; loan forgiveness available

*FFELP = Federal Family Education Loan Program; FDLP = Federal Direct Loan Program

**Depending on when the loan was borrowed, repayment may be 15% of discretionary income for 25 years (300 qualifying payment).



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