Standard Plan: The standard repayment plan offers a fixed-rate plan with monthly payments of at least $50 for up to ten years. Borrowers pay less interest under this plan because the repayment period is shorter.
Extended Payment Plan: The difference between this plan and a standard plan is monthly payments are extended over a period of 12-30 years. If you have a high debt load this may help you reduce your monthly payments but the longer you take to clear the loan, the more interests you will pay.
Graduated Payment Plan: Under this plan monthly payments start out low and increase approximately every two years. The repayment period can be from 12-30 years depending on your debt load.
Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan: Your monthly payments via this plan are based on your income, family size and loan amount.
Compare the cost of repaying your unconsolidated student loans with the cost of paying a government student loan consolidation.
It would be in your best interest to review and evaluate each of these plans to find out which one suits you best. Many financial institutions have counselors than can also help you make choices about plans. You should carefully consider your options and choices, interest rates are very low and will probably rise soon so now is your best opportunity to take advantage of government student loan consolidation programs.
Consolidate them into a single loan with rates and terms you can afford. Pay more often than the schedule – you will reduce your over all interest.
Don’t refinance if you are near the end of the term for your student loan. Don’t refinance if your just saving a few dollars a month – the additional time you are financing will cost you more in the long run.