Student Loan Assistance


 

Certain situations may qualify your student loans for forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge consideration.

For example, some unique situations which may qualify student loans for forgiveness are: loan forgiveness for employment in a public service job, and loan forgiveness or cancellation for teachers.

The following table is an overview of specific situations where a student loan may qualify for forgiveness, cancellation, or discharge:

Student Loan Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge OptionsDirect LoansFederal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program LoansPerkins Loans
Closed School Discharge

X

X

X

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

X

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

X

X

Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge (inclusive of Teacher Cancellation)

X

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

X

X

X

Discharge Due to Death

X

X

X

Discharge in Bankruptcy (in very specific situations)

X

X

X

False Certification of Student Eligibility or Unauthorized Payment Discharge

X

X

Unpaid Refund Discharge

X

X

Borrower Defense Discharge

X

X*

*A Student Loan borrower may assert a Borrower Defense Discharge claim (regarding an FFEL Program loan) against a holder of the student loan, only in specific situations detailed in 34 CFR 682.209(g).

 

Direct Loan and FFEL Program Repayment Plan Options
Repayment PlanEligible LoansMonthly Payment and Time FrameEligibility and Other Information
Standard Repayment Plan
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • all PLUS loans
  • all ConsolidationLoans (Direct or FFEL)
Payments are a fixed amount.

Up to 10 years (up to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).

All borrowers are eligible for this plan.

You’ll pay less over time than under other plans.

Graduated Repayment Plan
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • all PLUS loans
  • all Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL)
Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years.

Up to 10 years (up to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).

All borrowers are eligible for this plan.

You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.

Extended Repayment Plan
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • all PLUS loans
  • all Consolidation Loans (Direct or FFEL)
Payments may be fixed or graduated.

Up to 25 years.

  • If you’re a Direct Loan borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans.
  • If you’re a FFEL borrower, you must have more than $30,000 in outstanding FFEL Program loans.
  • Your monthly payments will be lower than under the 10-year Standard Plan or the Graduated Repayment Plan.
  • You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.
Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment  Plan (REPAYE)
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS loans made to students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans that do not include PLUS loans (Direct or FFEL) made to parents
  • Your monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income.
  • Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.
  • If you’re married, both your and your spouse’s income or loan debt will be considered, whether taxes are filed jointly or separately (with limited exceptions).
  • Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven’t repaid your loan in full after 20 or 25 years.
  • Any Direct Loan borrower with an eligible loan type may choose this plan.
  • You’ll usually pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.
  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.
  • Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE)
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS loans made to students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans that do not include (Direct or FFEL) PLUS loans made to parents
  • Your maximum monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income.
  • Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.
  • If you’re married, your spouse’s income or loan debt will be considered only if you file a joint tax return.
  • Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven’t repaid your loan in full after 20 years.
  • You must be a new borrower on or after Oct. 1, 2007, and must have received a disbursementof a Direct Loan on or after Oct. 1, 2011.
  • You must have a high debt relative to your income.
  • Your monthly payment will never be more than the 10-year Standard Plan amount.
  • You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.
  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.
  • Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • all PLUS loans made to students
  • Consolidation Loans  (Direct or FFEL) that do not include  Direct or FFEL PLUS loans made to parents
  • Your monthly payments will be 10 or 15 percent of discretionary income.
  • Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income and family size.
  • If you’re married, your spouse’s income or loan debt will be considered only if you file a joint tax return.
  • Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven’t repaid your loan in full after 20 or 25 years.
  • You may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven.
  • You must have a high debt relative to your income.
  • Your monthly payment will never be more than the 10-year Standard Plan amount.
  • You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.
  • Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR)
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans made to students
  • Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Your monthly payment will be the lesser of
    •  20 percent of discretionary income, or
    • the amount you would pay on a repayment plan with a fixed payment over 12 years, adjusted according to your income.
  • Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans.
  • If you’re married, your spouse’s income or loan debt will be considered only if you file a joint tax return or you choose to repay your Direct Loans jointly with your spouse.
  • Any outstanding balance will be forgiven if you haven’t repaid your loan in full after 25 years.
  • Any Direct Loan borrower with an eligible loan type may choose this plan.
  • You’ll usually pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.
  • You may have to pay income tax on the amount that is forgiven.
  • Good option for those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
  • Parent borrowers can access this plan by consolidating their Parent PLUS Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • FFEL PLUS Loans
  • FFEL Consolidation Loans
Your monthly payment is based on annual income.

Up to 15 years.

  • You’ll pay more over time than under the 10-year Standard Plan.
  • The formula for determining the monthly payment amount can vary from lender to lender.