Choose Your Repayment Plan

There are a number of repayment plans available to you. These plans may apply only to FFEL loans, some only to Direct loans, and some apply to both types of federal loans. Compare repayment plans.

Do you have a Federal Perkins Loan? Perkins Loan repayment options are not the same as those for Direct Loan Program or FFEL Program loans; these loans are made directly from the college or university. Check with your school for more information about Perkins Loan repayment options.

Want help choosing a plan for your FFEL or Direct Loans? Use HESC's Loan Repayment Advisor to get a personalized repayment plan. By answering a few simple questions - no data or personal information is required - you'll receive a customized repayment plan with options for your unique situation. 

Learn more about available federal loan repayment plans:

Standard Repayment

Available for FFEL and Direct Loans.  You'll pay a fixed amount each month until your loans are paid in full. This plan saves you money over time because your monthly payments may be slightly higher than payments made under other plans, but you’ll pay off your loan in the shortest time.

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  • Your monthly payments will be at least $50
  • You'll have up to 10 years to repay your loans
  •  With this plan, you will pay the least amount of interest over the life of your loan

Extended Repayment

Available for FFEL and Direct Loans. You'll pay a fixed annual or graduated repayment amount over a period not to exceed 25 years.

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  • If you're a FFEL borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding FFEL Program Loans.
  • If you're a Direct Loan borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans.

This means, for example, that if you have $35,000 in outstanding FFEL Program Loans and $10,000 in outstanding Direct Loans, you can choose the extended repayment plan for your FFEL Program Loans, but not for your Direct Loans. Your fixed monthly payment is lower than it would be under the Standard Plan, but you'll ultimately pay more for your loan because of the interest that accumulates during the longer repayment period.

This is a good plan if you will need to make smaller monthly payments. Because the repayment period will be 25 years, your monthly payments will be less than with the standard plan.

Remember that the longer your loans are in repayment, the more interest you will pay.

Graduated Repayment

Available for FFEL and Direct Loans.  Your payments start out low and increase every two years. The length of your repayment period will be up to 10 years.

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If you expect your income to increase steadily over time, this plan may be right for you. 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.

Income Based Repayment (IBR)

Available for FFEL and Direct Loans.This plan uses a sliding scale based on your income and family size to determine your payment amount. For most eligible borrowers, IBR loan payments will be less than 10 percent of income and any remaining debt will be forgiven after 25 years of on-time IBR payments.

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All Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation Loans made under either the Direct Loan or FFEL Program are eligible for repayment under IBR, except loans that are currently in default, parent PLUS Loans, or Consolidation Loans that repaid parent PLUS Loans. The loans can be new or old, and for any type of education (undergraduate, graduate, professional, job training).

You may enter IBR if your federal student loan debt is high relative to your income and family size. While your loan servicer will perform the calculation to determine your eligibility, you can use the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Loan Repayment Calculator to estimate whether you would likely qualify for the IBR plan.

Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (Direct Loans Only)

For borrowers who demonstrate a partial financial hardship. A financial hardship is demonstrated when the monthly amount you would be required to pay on all of your eligible federal student loans under a 10-year Standard Repayment Plan is higher than the monthly amount under Pay As You Earn. This plan helps keep monthly payments affordable. This plan usually has the lowest monthly payment amount of the repayment plans based on income, has a lower payment cap than IBR,  and provides forgiveness after 20 years of on-time, Pay As You Earn payments.

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You must be a new borrower as of Oct. 1, 2007, and must have received a disbursement of a Direct Loan on or after Oct. 1, 2011. You are a new borrower if you had no outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan as of Oct. 1, 2007, or had no outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan when you received a new loan on or after Oct. 1, 2007. Use the Federal Student Loan Repayment Calculator to see if this plan is right for you.

Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) (Direct Loans Only)

This plan gives you the flexibility to meet your repayment obligations without causing undue financial hardship. Payments are based on your adjusted gross income, family size and the total amount of your Direct Loans.

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Income Contingent Repayment is available if you need to make lower Direct Loan payments, but you do not qualify for the IBR or Pay As You Earn plans. Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and parent PLUS loans (unless consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan on or after July 1, 2006) are not eligible. Under this plan, your monthly payments are made for a maximum of 25 years. Monthly payments are the lesser of the amount you would pay if you repaid your loan in 12 years multiplied by an income percentage factor that changes with your annual income or 20 percent of your monthly discretionary income.

Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan (FFEL Loans Only)

Your monthly payments increase or decrease based on your annual income and for a maximum payout period of 10 years. If you have loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education, contact your loan servicer. If you have FFEL program loans that are not owned by the U.S. Department of Education, contact your lender.