What Repayment Plan is Best for You?

While enrolled in school at least half-time, Federal Stafford and Grad PLUS loan borrowers are not required to make loan payments. Upon graduation or dropping below half-time status, these borrowers are eligible to receive a 6-month grace period prior to entering repayment. Parent PLUS loan borrowers generally begin repayment 60 days after the loan has been fully disbursed; however, parents may be eligible to request an in-school deferment and receive a 6-month deferment extension after the student graduates or drops below half-time status.

Once a borrower enters repayment they are automatically set-up on a Standard Repayment plan. This plan establishes a schedule of equal payments over a 10 year repayment term. During this time, borrowers are required to pay their federal loan(s), including interest, and make at least a $50 minimum monthly payment (note: the 10 year repayment term excludes periods of enrollment of at least half-time, grace, deferment and forbearance, if applicable).

Additional repayment options may be available to borrowers. These options include Graduated Repayment, Income-Sensitive Repayment, Income-Based Repayment and Extended Repayment. You can learn more about each plan below. To enroll in a different repayment plan, visit our Forms page to download the appropriate application.

Select a Repayment Option below for more information
Standard Repayment
Standard Repayment establishes a schedule of equal payments over the life of the loan. Borrowers are automatically assigned this repayment plan once they enter repayment unless a different plan is requested.
Graduated Repayment
Graduated Repayment allows borrowers to begin repaying their loan(s) at a lower payment amount than normal. Every two years, the payment amount will increase until the balance of the loan is repaid within the maximum repayment term applicable to the loan. Your monthly payments will never be less than the amount of interest that accrues between your payments and they will never be more than three times greater than any other payment. Overall, borrowers will pay more in interest, but the initial payments are lower than the Standard Repayment plan.
Income-Based Repayment
Income-Based Repayment is a new option effective July 1, 2009 for borrowers who experience a partial financial hardship (as explained below). Under this plan, your required monthly payment amount is determined by your annual gross income (AGI) and the poverty level associated with your family size and state of residence. If your total annual student loan payments are greater than 15% of the difference between your AGI and 150% of the poverty level applicable to you, you are considered to be experiencing a partial financial hardship and are eligible for the Income-Based Repayment plan.

Example: For 2016, 150% of the poverty level for a family of 1 living in Texas is $17,820. A borrower with an AGI of $40,000 would have a partial hardship if his/her annual student loan payments were greater than $3,327, or $277 per month ($3,327 is 15% of the result from subtracting $17,820 from $40,000).

The maximum repayment period under this plan may exceed 10 years. If after 25 years of qualifying payments your student loan balance is not paid in full, your remaining balance will be forgiven. The Income-Based Repayment plan is not available for Parent PLUS loan(s), Consolidation loan(s) that repaid any Parent PLUS loan or any defaulted loan(s).
Income-Sensitive Repayment
With this option, the monthly payment amount is adjusted annually to reflect changes in income, based on the borrower’s total monthly income and total student loan debt. This option may be used for a maximum of five years at which time the borrower’s account(s) will convert to Graduated or Standard payments. Under this option, the borrower is required to provide documentation of income on an annual basis. If documentation of income is not provided each year, the loan(s) will be placed on a Standard Repayment schedule.
Extended Repayment
Extended Repayment allows borrowers to extend their Standard or Graduated Repayment plan for up to 25 years. This plan is only available to "new borrowers" whose federal loan(s) were disbursed on or after October 7, 1998, and who have an outstanding FFELP balance of principal and interest totaling more than $30,000.
If you fail to make a payment on time, your loan(s) will be considered delinquent. Failure to make scheduled monthly payments or special arrangements may result in default after 270 days of delinquency and could result in wage garnishment, negative credit reporting, withholding of IRS refunds, denial of further federal financial aid and much more. We understand that there are periods of time, in which you may not be able to make your monthly payment due to certain circumstances. This is why we also offer deferment and forbearance options, so that you can reduce or postpone your monthly loan payments.

If you’re currently in repayment and would like to enroll in a different repayment plan or apply for a deferment or forbearance, visit our Forms page to download the appropriate application. If you have questions, please call us at 1-800-366-4372 or feel free to email us at service@hescloans.com.

Choose the Plan that's right for you!

When reviewing your Repayment Plan options, be sure to consider the total interest accrued as well as the total amount to be paid over the life of the loan. These figures can adjust dramatically based on the repayment plan and term you select. Below are examples of a low and high balance loan and how much you would be required to repay in interest and principal based on the repayment plan you select.
Example 1:
$15,000 Loan Balance / 6.8% Interest Rate


Monthly Payment $173
Term 10 years
Total Interest $5,713
Total Paid $20,713
Monthly Payment Years 1-2: $100
Years 3-4: $131
Years 5-6: $173
Years 7-8: $227
Years 9-10: $299
Term 10 years
Total Interest $7,284
Total Paid $22,284
Monthly Payment Year 1: $85
Years 2-11: $173
Term 11 years
Total Interest $6,733
Total Paid $21,733
Not eligible for Extended Repayment due to loan balance less than $30,000.
Example 2:
$30,000 Loan Balance / 6.8% Interest Rate


Monthly Payment $345
Term 10 years
Total Interest $11,427
Total Paid $41,427
Monthly Payment Years 1-2: $200
Years 3-4: $262
Years 5-6: $345
Years 7-8: $454
Years 9-10: $597
Term 10 years
Total Interest $14,567
Total Paid $44,567
Monthly Payment Year 1: $170
Years 2-11: $345
Term 11 years
Total Interest $13,467
Total Paid $43,467
Monthly Payment $208
Term 25 years
Total Interest $32,466
Total Paid $62,466
* The Income-Sensitive Plan is calculated based on an annual salary of $30,000 and 4% monthly gross income allocation to the loan payment. Total interest paid over the life of the loan and the term will vary depending on the percentage of income that the borrower chooses to allocate each year to the loan payment.

Note: The payment amount for any of these repayment options may be adjusted to reflect annual changes in variable interest rates or to account for capitalized interest. Repaying your loans under any plan other than Standard Repayment may result in you paying more interest over the repayment period.