How do I pay back my federal student loans?

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Loan Repayment

When it is time to repay your student loans, several options are available to keep the process as stress-free as possible. You can select a repayment plan that's right for your financial situation. Generally, you'll have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on which repayment plan you choose.

Click Here to view the slides from the Federal Student Loan Repayment presentation sponsored by the ASL Financial Aid Department and the Student Bar Association.

Repayment Options


  • Standard Repayment
  • Extended Repayment
  • Graduated Repayment
  • Income-Based Repayment
  • Income-Contingent Repayment (Direct Loans Only)
  • Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan (FFEL Loans only)

To find out which one of these repayment plans works best for you, visit the Federal Student Loan website.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created to encourage individuals to fill public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans after you have made 120 payments on loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers. More information is also available here.

Postponing Repayment

Federal student loan programs offer deferment, forbearance, or other forms of payment relief in limited circumstances. If you have trouble making loan payments, immediately contact the organization that services your loan to see if you qualify for relief. It's important to take action before you are charged late fees. For Federal Perkins Loans, contact your loan servicer or the school that made you the loan. For Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans, contact your loan servicer. If you do not know who your servicer is, look it up in the federal National Student Loan Data System

Loan Consolidation

A consolidation loan allows borrowers to combine federal student loans, resulting in one monthly payment.