Federal Repayment Plans are options for repayment schedules that determine your monthly student loan payment amount. Currently, the federal government offers a number of different repayment plans:
- Standard repayment plan levels all monthly payments over 10 years equally.
- Graduated repayment plan starts you with lower monthly payments and increases the monthly payment typically every two years.
- Extended repayment plan is offered if you borrowed over $30,000 so that you can lengthen the repayment period from 10 years to up to 25 years depending on the debt. You may be able to combine extended and graduated repayment plans to gradually increase the monthly payments every two years.
- Income-driven repayment plans offer a way to reduce your monthly payments if you are having difficulty paying your monthly expenses based on your income level. In fact, in some cases, your loan repayment could be as low as $0 a month. There are four different income-driven repayment plans called:
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Income-Based Repayment (IBR), and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR). Depending on your loan type, loan balance, your income and the year you borrowed, one of these plans will benefit you the best. Be aware that you must apply annual for any of these income-driven repayment plans, including documentation of your income.