Federal Student Loans

There are Options for Your Federal Loans

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, including religious organizations, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 (10 years) qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

FFELP borrowers may consolidate to Direct Loans to take advantage of programs such as PSLF.

You Have Options if You Were Denied PSLF on Your Direct Loan

If your application for PSLF was denied, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) opportunity.

As part of this opportunity, the Department of Education reconsiders your eligibility using an expanded list of qualifying repayment plans.

This TEPSLF opportunity is temporary, has limited funding, and will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Once all funds are used, the TEPSLF opportunity will end.

Learn About Repayment Plans and Payment Postponement

Get Loan Details on the National Student Loan Data System

You can view all your federal loans and their details on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at StudentAid.gov.

Explore Your Options Below or Model Your Loans with the Loan Simulator

When your federal loans enter repayment, they will automatically be placed into a Standard Repayment Plan. This is the fastest way to repay your loans and you’ll pay less over time than other options.*

Check out the information on this page to learn about some other common repayment options for federal loans.

If your loans qualify, the fastest way to apply is online, or, depending on the option you choose, by phone. This is not an all-inclusive list of every option that may be available.

To learn more, use the Loan Simulator at StudentAid.gov to evaluate your federal student loan options.

Are You in an Income-Based or Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan?

If you're repaying federal student loans in an Income-Based (IBR) or Income-Sensitive Repayment (ISR) plan, each year you need to re-certify your plan by providing updated income documentation and certification of your family size. Generally, this is around the same time of the year that you first began repayment under the IBR or ISR plan.

It's important for you to provide the required information by the specified annual deadline. If you miss the deadline, Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal), and your monthly payment will no longer be based on your income. This may cause your Monthly Payment Amount to increase.

Learn more at StudentAid.gov.

Develop a Plan to Keep You On Track

Access resources about federal student loan repayment at StudentAid.gov.

Repayment Options for Federal Student Loans

Standard Repayment Plan

You'll pay less interest over time under this plan than under other plans. Monthly Payment Amounts are based on your total loan amount – the more you owe, the higher your monthly payment will be.

Description:

  • This plan has a repayment schedule with fixed Monthly Payment Amounts of principal and interest that will be due for the repayment term.

  • Monthly Payments under the Standard Repayment Plan are a minimum of $50.

  • Your repayment term will be up to 10 years (or up to 30 years for consolidation loans).

Consequences:

  • This is the fastest way to repay your loans and you’ll pay less over time than other options.*

How to Apply:

  • Not applicable – your loans will automatically be placed into a Standard Repayment Plan.

Graduated Repayment Plan

Graduated repayment plans offer lower payments that step up to a fully amortizing payment. Graduated payments are set at an amount to ensure your loans are repaid within the remaining terms.

Description:

  • Monthly Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years.

  • Repayment term of up to 10 years (or up to 30 years for consolidation loans)*.

  • May be combined with Extended Repayment.

Consequences:

  • Your total loan cost will typically be greater over time than the Standard Repayment Plan.*

How to Apply:

Extended Repayment Plan

Extended repayment plans offer potentially lower payments and longer terms to pay.

Description:

  • For FFELP loan borrowers with more than a $30,000 principal and interest loan balance.

  • Term extension that may be combined with Standard or Graduated Repayment Plans.

  • Repayment term of up to 25 years.* This typically results in lower Monthly Payments made over a longer repayment period.

Consequences:

  • Your total loan cost will typically be greater over time than the Standard Repayment Plan.*

  • It will take longer to pay off your loans.

How to Apply:

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan

A repayment plan based on your income and family size can help you manage your federal student loan payments.

Description:

  • For FFELP loan borrowers that have a large eligible loan debt relative to income.

  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan with Monthly Payments as low as $0 for eligible borrowers.

  • You must have a "partial financial hardship" to qualify initially and continue to receive a payment amount based on your income and family size.

  • Monthly Payments are calculated at 15% of discretionary income under a standard repayment plan based on a 10-year repayment period. The repayment period under IBR may be greater than 10 years.

  • May lead to forgiveness. Any outstanding loan balance will be forgiven after 25 years of qualifying repayment.

  • Annual recertification is required.

  • You aren’t responsible for the difference between your Monthly Payment Amount and the interest that accrues on subsidized loans** for the first three years in the plan.

  • Learn more about whether an IDR plan might be right for you.

Consequences:

  • Your total loan cost will typically be greater over time than the Standard Repayment Plan.*

  • It is important to renew your plan. If you miss the annual recertification deadline, Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal) and your Monthly Payment Amount may also increase.

  • Unpaid Interest may also be capitalized if you leave the plan or if you no longer have a "partial financial hardship."

How to Apply:

Need help? Check out this useful guide on how to complete the IDR online application.

Income-Sensitive Repayment (ISR) Plan

An Income-Sensitive Repayment plan is based on your income can help you manage your federal student loan payments.

Description:

  • Monthly Payments are based on a percentage of your gross monthly income that you may select at the discretion of your loan holder. Navient typically provides for ISR payments between 4 and 25% of your gross monthly income.

  • Annual recertification is required.

  • Certain types of forbearance are used in connection with ISR when Monthly Payments are equal to or less than the amount of accruing interest.

  • Repayment term of up to 10 years (or up to 30 years for consolidation loans), excluding forbearance time, and assuming continuous, uninterrupted, on-time payments are made.

Consequences:

  • Your total loan cost will typically be greater over time than the Standard Repayment Plan.*

  • It is important to renew your plan. If you miss the annual recertification deadline, your Monthly Payment Amount may increase.

  • Unpaid Interest may be capitalized annually (added to the Unpaid Principal) during periods of forbearance in connection with ISR.

How to Apply:

Direct Loan Consolidation

Federal loan consolidation can be helpful for borrowers who want to combine their eligible federal student loans into a single Direct Consolidation Loan. It's important to understand and carefully consider all factors before consolidating.

Consolidation into the Direct Loan program may allow borrowers with FFELP loans to take advantage of repayment plans or forgiveness options created solely for Direct Loans. You should weigh the advantages and disadvantages before you take this action.

Description:

  • For FFELP and other eligible federal loan borrowers that have a large eligible loan debt relative to income.

  • Spousal or joint consolidation loans are not eligible to be re-consolidated into a Direct consolidation loan.

  • Combines eligible federal loans into a single Direct consolidation loan.

  • Consolidating FFELP loans into the Direct Loan program allows access to repayment plans or forgiveness options created solely for Direct Loans, including Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

  • Repayment term of up to 30 years.

  • You may choose which loans to include or opt to exclude loans from consolidation.

  • Learn more on StudentAid.gov about the pros and cons of consolidating some or all of your loans.

Consequences:

  • The interest rate on your consolidation loan may be higher than what you’re currently paying. The fixed interest rate is based on a weighted average of the contractual rates on the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest higher one-eighth of one percent.

  • Unpaid Interest on your loans being consolidated will be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal).

How to Apply:

  • Online at StudentAid.gov, or

  • You can add other loans to a consolidation loan if you are within 180 days of the date we paid off the first loans you are consolidating. After 180 days, you will need to apply for a new Direct Consolidation Loan. Download the form.

Deferment

Deferment is a period when you postpone making payments on your loan. You are not responsible for paying accrued interest on subsidized federal loans during most deferments. You typically remain responsible for interest that accrues on your unsubsidized loans.

Description:

  • Temporarily postpones Monthly Payments.

  • Eligibility requirements vary by type of deferment. Examples include cancer treatment, economic hardship, in-school, military service and post-active duty, rehabilitation training program, and unemployment deferment.

  • Different deferment options may be available based on loan program and disbursement dates.

  • Available deferment time is often limited and varies by deferment type.

  • You aren't responsible for the interest that accrues on subsidized loans** during deferment.

  • You have the option of making a payment at any time during the deferment period. You may also shorten or cancel your deferment and return to making Monthly Payments.

Consequences:

  • You should consider your current and longer-term situation, the likelihood of any changes, and whether an IBR or other reduced repayment plan is a better option for you than deferment. An IBR plan offers Monthly Payment Amounts of as little as $0 for eligible borrowers.

  • With limited exception, accruing interest during deferment continues to remain your responsibility on unsubsidized loans.** If not paid, Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal), which may increase your Monthly Payment Amount and total loan cost.

  • Use of deferment may cause the loss of borrower benefits - such as repayment incentives that can lower your interest rate. The Auto Pay interest rate reduction (if eligible) will be suspended during periods of deferment when no payments are due.

  • With the exception of economic hardship deferment, periods of deferment are not counted as qualifying repayment towards IBR loan forgiveness.

  • Payments made during deferment periods are not qualifying payments towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for Direct Loans.

How to Apply:

  • Log in to your account and go to Repayment Options, or

  • Complete the deferment request form below that best matches your situation and return it to us.

  • Supporting documentation may also be required.

Types of Deferments:

  • Economic Hardship — If you're having temporary issues making your student loan payments due to economic hardship or serving in the Peace Corps, you may be eligible for up to three years of deferment. Download the form

  • Unemployment — If you're unemployed, receiving unemployment benefits or working less than 30 hours per week, and seeking full-time employment, you may be eligible for up to three years of deferment. Download the form

  • Rehabilitation Training Program — You may be eligible if you are enrolled in an approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled. Download the form

  • Cancer Treatment — You may be eligible if you are receiving treatment for cancer. Download the form

  • In-School — You may be eligible if you’re enrolled at an eligible school at least half time. Download the form

  • Graduate Fellowship — You may be eligible if you are enrolled in an eligible graduate fellowship program. Download the form

  • Parent PLUS Borrower — You may be eligible if you are a parent with a Parent PLUS Loan who needs to defer repayment while your student is enrolled in school at least half time. Download the form

  • Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) Borrower— You may be eligible if you have a HEAL loan and need to defer repayment for one or more reasons indicated on the request form. Download the form

  • Military Service and Post-Active Duty — You can postpone federal loan payments if you are an eligible servicemember serving active duty during a war, military operation, or national emergency. For Post-Active Duty, you may be eligible if you were serving active duty in connection with a war, military operation, or national emergency, for the 13-month period following the conclusion of that service, or until you return to college or career school on at least a half-time basis, whichever is earlier. Download the form

  • Temporary Total Disability — You may be eligible if you are experiencing a temporary total disability. Download the form

  • Do you have pre-1993 loans? — If you are a FFELP loan borrower who received loans before July 1, 1993, you may be eligible for additional deferments or your deferment options may be different from the deferments described above. Learn more

Forbearance

Forbearance is a period during which your monthly loan payments are temporarily suspended or reduced. Payments are postponed, but interest will accrue during the forbearance period. Unpaid interest may be capitalized in connection with forbearance, which will increase your total loan cost. See your Promissory Note for details relating to capitalization of interest.

The use of forbearance may cause the loss of borrower benefits – such as repayment incentives that can lower your interest rate.

Description:

  • Temporarily postpones or reduces Monthly Payments.

  • Eligibility requirements vary by type of forbearance. Examples include general forbearance, mandatory forbearance, student loan debt burden forbearance, and teacher loan forgiveness forbearance.

  • Available forbearance time is often limited and varies by forbearance type.

  • You have the option of making a payment at any time during the forbearance period. You may also shorten or cancel your forbearance and return to making Monthly Payments.

Consequences:

  • You should consider your current and longer-term situation, the likelihood of any changes, and whether IBR or other reduced repayment plan is a better option for you than forbearance. IBR plans offer Monthly Payment Amounts of as little as $0 for eligible borrowers.

  • Accruing interest during forbearance continues to remain your responsibility for both subsidized** and unsubsidized loans**. Unpaid Interest may be capitalized (added to the Unpaid Principal), which may increase your Monthly Payment Amount and total loan cost.

  • Use of forbearance may cause the loss of borrower benefits - such as repayment incentives that can lower your interest rate. The Auto Pay interest rate reduction (if eligible) will be suspended during periods of forbearance when no payments are due.

  • With limited exception, periods of forbearance are not counted as qualifying repayment towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for Direct Loans or IDR loan forgiveness.

How to Apply:

  • Log in to your account and go to Repayment Options, or

  • Complete the forbearance request form below that best matches your situation and return it to us.

  • Some forbearance types may be requested by phone.

  • Supporting documentation may also be required.

Types of Forbearance:

  • General Forbearance — You may be eligible if you are experiencing temporary hardship related to financial difficulties, change in employment, medical expenses, and other situations. Be sure to explore any deferment options for which you may be eligible. Download the form

  • Mandatory Forbearance — You may be eligible while in medical or dental internship/residency, on National Guard active duty, or performing service that qualifies you for a partial repayment under the Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program. Download the form

  • Student Loan Debt Burden Forbearance — You may be eligible depending on your total student loan debt and your income. Be sure to explore other options, as you may qualify for deferment or for an Income-Based Repayment plan. Download the form

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance — You may be eligible to postpone federal student loan payments while you are performing qualifying teaching service to earn Teacher Loan Forgiveness. If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $5,000 (or up to $17,500 if you meet the criteria of a highly qualified teacher) on your FFELP loans. Download the form

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, including religious organizations, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under PSLF.

FFELP borrowers may consolidate their loans into Direct Consolidation Loans to take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

You Have Options if You Were Denied PSLF on Your Direct Loan

If your application for PSLF was denied, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) opportunity.

As part of this opportunity, the Department of Education reconsiders your eligibility using an expanded list of qualifying repayment plans.

This TEPSLF opportunity is temporary, has limited funding, and will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Once all funds are used, the TEPSLF opportunity will end.

Visit StudentAid.gov for detailed information on how to be reconsidered for loan forgiveness.

Description:

  • For FFELP loans that have been consolidated into Direct Consolidation Loans.

  • If you are employed by a government or qualified not-for-profit organization, including religious organizations, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

  • The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 (10 years) qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

  • Note that past payments made toward your FFELP loans will not be considered qualifying payments toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This means that any payments you've made toward your FFELP loans will not be counted toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness. For eligible loans, consolidation actions affect previous payment counts.

Consequences:

  • PSLF requires that qualifying conditions be met for five to 10 years before you may be eligible for forgiveness. Be sure to learn more about eligibility to stay on the right track.

  • Beginning with the January 1, 2021 tax year and through the January 1, 2025 tax year, all discharge or forgiveness of any federal loan balances are no longer federally taxable.

  • You should consult your tax advisor concerning the income tax consequences of any loan forgiveness.

How to Apply:

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

If you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income elementary school, low-income secondary school, or educational service agency, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $5,000 (or up to $17,500 if you meet the criteria of a highly qualified teacher) on your FFELP loans.

Description:

  • If you teach at an elementary or secondary schools or educational service agency that serves low-income families, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program.

  • You may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $5,000 on your FFELP loans.

  • You may receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness if you are employed in certain specialty areas and are a highly qualified teacher.

  • Also, you must not have had an outstanding balance FFELP Loan as of 10/1/1998 or on the date that you obtained a FFELP Loan after 10/1/1998.

  • If you reside or work in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands and were affected by Hurricanes Maria or Irma, you may be eligible for a one-year gap in your five-year complete and consecutive academic years requirement.

Consequences:

  • TLF requires that qualifying conditions be met for five to 10 years before you may be eligible for forgiveness. Be sure to learn more about eligibility to stay on the right track.

  • Beginning with the January 1, 2021 tax year and through the January 1, 2025 tax year, all discharge or forgiveness of any federal loan balances are no longer federally taxable.

  • You should consult your tax advisor concerning the income tax consequences of any loan forgiveness.

How to Apply:

Need help? Check out these useful tips on how to complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness application.

Loan Cancellation and Discharge

Description:

  • You will no longer be required to repay all or part of your outstanding loan balance if you are eligible for loan cancellation or discharge.

  • Eligibility requirements and limitations on the amount of the loan balance available for cancellation or discharge.

  • Examples include Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge, Defense to Repayment forgiveness, and discharge due to death.

Consequences:

  • Beginning with the January 1, 2021 tax year and through the January 1, 2025 tax year, all discharge or forgiveness of any federal loan balances are no longer federally taxable.

  • You should consult your tax advisor concerning the income tax consequences of any loan forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge.

How to Apply:

  • Varies by type of cancellation or discharge.

  • Visit StudentAid.gov or contact us for details.

  • Supporting documentation is also required.

Types of Loan Discharge:

* Assumes continuous, on-time payments are made in the amounts and on the dates disclosed in your payment schedule.

** Subsidized loans are federal student loans for which the borrower isn’t typically responsible for paying interest that accrues during in school, grace, deferment, and certain other periods. The borrower is typically responsible for paying all interest that accrues on unsubsidized loans.