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Loan Repayment

If you leave college or drop below half-time status, you will begin repaying your federal student loans. Most loans offer a grace period which will allow you time to get financially settled and choose a repayment plan before you begin repaying your loans.

Making Payments

The U.S. Department of Education will assign to you a loan servicer that will handle the repayment of your federal student loans. Each servicer has its own payment process, so check with your servicer if you aren’t sure how or when to make a payment. You are responsible for staying in touch with your servicer and making your payments, even if you do not receive a bill.  If you are not sure who your servicer is, review your loan history at the National Student Loan Data System website to find more information. If you borrowed loans under the FFEL Program and also have loans under the current Direct Loan Program, you may have a Federal Loan Servicer and a second FFELP Lender. How much your monthly payment is will depend on several factors including the type of loan you received, how much money you borrowed, the interest rate on your loan and the repayment plan you choose.

Loan Debt Repayment Chart

Manageable loan payments usually range between 5 and 15 percent of post-graduation income.

Amount Borrowed Number of Payments Estimated Monthly Payments* Recommended Annual Salaries**
$5,000 120 $55.51 $8,326.50
$10,000 120 $111.02 $16,653.00
$15,000 120 $166.53 $24,979.35
$20,000 120 $222.04 $33,306.00
$25,000 120 $277.55 $41,632.50
$30,000 120 $333.06 $49,959.00
$35,000 120 $388.57 $58,285.50
$40,000 120 $444.08 $66,612.00
$45,000 120 $499.59 $74,938.50
$50,000 120 $555.10 $83,265.00
$55,000 120 $610.61 $91,591.50
$60,000 120 $666.12 $99,918.00

* Estimated monthly payments based on rate of 6 percent.

**Recommended annual salary based on 8 percent of income available for loan repayment.

Choosing a Repayment Plan

You have a choice of several repayment plans that are designed to meet your needs. The amount you pay and the length of time to repay your loans will vary depending on the repayment plan you choose. Get details about repayment plans and calculate your estimated repayment amount under each of the different plans.

Loan Consolidation

Learn what it means to consolidate your loans, how to apply for loan consolidation, things to consider before consolidating your loans, the types of loans that qualify for consolidation and what happens after you consolidate your loans.

Deferment and Forbearance

Deferment and forbearance offer a way for you to temporarily postpone or lower your loan payments while you’re in school, in the military, experiencing financial hardship or in certain other situations. Find out more about deferment and forbearance.

Forgiveness, Cancellation and Discharge

In circumstances such as certain kinds of teaching service, total and permanent disability or the closure of the school where you were studying, your obligation to repay your federal student loan may be removed. Learn about forgiveness, cancellation or discharge of federal student loans due to these and other situations.

Understanding Default

NEVER ignore delinquency or default notices from your loan servicer. If you don’t make your monthly loan payments, you will become delinquent on your student loan and risk going into default. Contact your servicer immediately if you are having trouble making payments or won’t be able to pay on time. Learn about federal student loan default including what may happen if you do, what steps you can take to keep your loan from going into default and what your options are for getting out of default.