Student Loan Repayment Options

Find the best way to manage your monthly loan payments

NONFEDERAL STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT OPTIONS

If you’d like to learn about repayment options on your Vermont Advantage Loans or other VSAC-administered nonfederal student loans, please call us at 800-798-8722.

FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT OPTIONS

When it comes to repaying your federal student loans, you can choose from several repayment options to help meet your monthly payment and long-term repayment needs. You can change your federal student loan repayment schedule at any time.

Learn more about your federal student loan repayment options:

Standard (Level) Student Loan Repayment

This is the student loan repayment plan your federal loans will follow unless you request 1 of the other options.

How it works: You pay the same fixed amount each month until you pay off the loan. You have up to 10 years to do so—or up to 30 years for consolidated loans.

Benefit: This is the least expensive of the student loan repayment options. That’s because you’ll pay the least amount of interest over the life of your student loan.

Drawback: You may have higher monthly loan payments than with some other options.

Graduated Repayment

How it works: Your payments start out lower and increase every 2 years. You’ll have up to 10 years to pay off your loan—or up to 30 years for consolidated loans.

Benefit: You have some time to increase your earnings before payments increase.

Drawback: You’ll pay less in the beginning than with the standard repayment option. But your monthly student loan payments will become much greater than the standard payment over time. And you’ll end up paying more interest than with a standard repayment plan.

Extended Repayment

You may choose this option if you have at least $30,000 of Stafford, PLUS loans or consolidation debt and your first loan was disbursed on or after Oct. 7, 1998.

How it works: You make smaller fixed (same amount every month) or graduated (increasing over time) monthly loan payments than with a standard repayment plan over a longer period of time. You’ll have up to 25 years to repay your loan.  

Benefit: You pay less each month than with a standard repayment plan—and can spread out monthly loan payments for a larger loan over more years.

Drawback: You’ll end up paying more interest than with a standard repayment plan.

Income-based Repayment (IBR)

If your federal student loan debt is high in relation to your income, you may qualify for an income-based repayment plan.

How it works: Your monthly loan payments are limited to a percentage of your annual income (including your spouse’s income and your spouse’s eligible federal student loan debt, if you file taxes jointly). Your monthly loan payments are adjusted each year, based on changes in your income and family size. After 25 years, any amount that you may still owe on your loan will be forgiven (meaning you won’t have to pay it).

Benefit: You have the security and flexibility of a long-term plan that helps keep your monthly loan payments affordable as your life changes.

Drawback: Making reduced payments in IBR may not cover the interest on your loans. So your loan balance can grow and you may pay more interest over the life of the loan. In addition, you may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.

Learn more about income-based repayment (IBR) >

Income-Sensitive Repayment

How it works: You pay monthly loan payments based on your income each year. You’ll have up to 15 years to pay off your federal student loan.

Benefit: You have the security and flexibility of a long-term student loan repayment plan designed to match your monthly loan payments to your changing income.

Drawback: You’ll end up paying more interest than with a standard repayment plan.

MORE OPTIONS IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH MONTHLY LOAN PAYMENTS

If you’re struggling with monthly loan payments, there are other student loan repayment options that may help. Learn more about:

Loan consolidation > 

Loan forgiveness >

Loan deferment and forbearance > 

Managing loan default >