Believe it or not, it's actually pretty easy to lower your student loan payments. It may take some time – probably a 30 minute phone call, filling out a bit of paperwork, and some time (probably 30 to 60 days), but you can get your loan payments lowered if they aren't working for you.
If you're on a standard 10 year repayment plan, look at these options and then follow the steps below to get your student loan payments lowered.
Student Loan Repayment Plan Options
You have several options for repayment plans for your student loans:
- Graduated Repayment Plan: On this plan, payments start low at first, and then rise every two years, until your loan is paid off. This is the ideal plan if you think you'll be earning more in the next few years but are just struggling right out of college.
- Extended Repayment Plan: If you have over $30,000 in outstanding loans, you can qualify for this plan. It simply takes your loan and stretches it out up to 25 years. You can also choose between a standard repayment or graduated repayment option.
- Income Based Repayment Plans: There are several variations on this depending on your loan type, but you can qualify for monthly payments based on your income. Each loan type has unique qualifying requirements, and income minimums. However, most will not allow the monthly payment to exceed 10% of your income. Some of these plans also offer student loan forgiveness after the payment terms.
How To Qualify
If you want to lower your payments and switch to one of these repayment plans, you need to do a couple things:
- Call your lender. If you don't know where to go, we have a great resource for you: The Complete List of Federal Student Loan Servicers
- Be prepared to send in an application, a copy of your tax return, and a pay stub
- Follow up if you don't hear back in 30 days
Share Your Story
Have you changed repayment plans? Share your story so others can understand the process!