Harper College

Loan Payment Options

There are several ways you can approach paying off your federal student loans, including the following:

  • Standard Payment Plan allows you to make payments at a fixed amount with up to 10 years to repay the loan.
  • Graduated Payment Plan starts at a low level after you graduate but increases every two years based on the expectation that your income increases with work experience. You have up to 10 years to repay the loan.
  • Consolidation allows you to combine several student loans into one large loan so you have only one monthly payment to make.
  • Extended Repayment Plan is available to borrowers with more than $30,000 in Direct Loans. Payments may be fixed or graduated with up to 25 years to repay the loan.
  • Other payment plans based on your annual discretionary income and family size include
    • Pay as You Earn Repayment
    • Income-Based Repayment
    • Income-Contingent Repayment
    • Several proposed changes may impact these repayment plans. See studentaid.gov for more information. 
  • Calculate student loan payments and explore which repayment option is best for you at using the Loan Simulator.

Trouble making loan payments? Contact your loan servicer. They may be able to help by adjusting your payment plan or temporarily postponing your payment with a deferment or forbearance. 

  • Deferment is a period during which repayment of the principal and interest of your loan is temporarily delayed.
  • Forbearance is used to temporarily stop making payments or reduce your payments when you don’t qualify for a deferment.
Last Updated: 1/4/24