Know Your Repayment Options
If your monthly payment is too high, you have several options to reduce your monthly payment, sometimes even as low as $0 a month.
This website has information on the various types of student loan repayment plans. You can also check out Federal Student Aid for in-depth information on student loan repayment. For example, you can choose a replayment plan in five easy steps by going to Get Help Choosing a Student Loan. Or, save time and money by understanding how to repay your federal student loans.
Quick Repayment Plan Overview
This is the default plan you'll repay your loans on. On this plan, your loans will be repaid in the shortest amount of time when payments are made on schedule.
This plan is well-suited for those who expect their income to go up over time. Payments begin low, and increase every 24 payments.
Qualified borrowers receive a repayment term of up to 25 years, and the option for a fixed or graduated regular monthly payment amount.
This FFELP loan-only plan lowers payments for 12 months at a time, and has a loan term of five years before defaulting to Standard or Graduated repayment.
The four income-driven repayment plans are designed to help make your student loan debt manageable by creating a regular monthly payment amount that fits your income.
The most common repayment plan is Standard Repayment. This plan spreads equal payments over your loan term. Generally, this is the most economical repayment plan.
The Standard Plan qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Keep in mind that your required 120 payments for PSLF should be made under an Income-Driven Repayment Plan. * Any payments you make under the Standard Plan count toward your required 120 payments. However, it requires full repayment in 10 years, and you would have no loan balance left to forgive.
* Under the U.S. Department of Education’s limited PSLF waiver through October 31, 2022, any prior period of repayment will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of repayment plan. Learn more. You can also contact us with questions.
With this plan, payments start low and gradually increase over the years. This can be a good choice for those who expect to earn more money as they advance in their careers. Payment amounts increase every 24 months until the loan balance is paid in full. You will pay more interest on this plan than on the Standard Repayment Plan.
Do you have more than $30,000 in outstanding FFELP or Direct Loans? Then the Extended Repayment Plan may be for you. This plan makes monthly payments more affordable, but it will take a longer amount of time to pay off the loan (up to 25 years), and you will pay more interest. Under the Extended Repayment Plan, you may choose standard payments (equal payments over the payment term) or graduated payments (payments that increase every two years).
This plan can only be used for FFELP loans. This plan carries an annual adjustment to your minimum monthly payment based on your monthly gross income. You may choose this plan for up to five years, after which your account will defer to either the Standard or Graduated Repayment Plan.
Income-Driven Repayment Plans
If you need a more affordable monthly payment amount tailored to your income, an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan could help. Borrowers need to submit their income and family size annually to maintain eligibility. Each of the four plans has unique qualifications for eligibility, and will affect your regular monthly payment amount in different ways. The Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan, and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Repayment Plan are for Direct Loans only. The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan is for both FFELP and Direct Loans.
When You Can't Pay
If you are experiencing financial hardship, are unemployed, decide to go back to school, or are on active duty military service, postponing payments with deferment may be right for you. Depending on your loan type, you may not accrue interest during this period. Log in to your Nelnet.com account to review what deferment options are available for you.
If you work an internship, perform certain types of community service, or find yourself experiencing financial hardship, you may be qualified to postpone payments with forbearance. All loans accrue interest during forbearance, so it's smart to pay at least the monthly interest during this period to avoid interest capitalization. Forbearance also resolves any delinquency on the account. Log in to your Nelnet.com account to find out if you're eligible.
Find Out if Consolidation is Right for You
You have multiple loans with multiple monthly payments and servicers
The Direct Consolidation Loan program is offered by the U.S. Department of Education to federal student loan borrowers. The Direct Consolidation Loan program allows multiple eligible loans to be consolidated into a single loan, which is then serviced by the servicer of your choosing (which includes Nelnet).