Federal Student Loan Repayment

As graduation nears, so does the reality of loan repayment. We want to make sure you know how to navigate the complicated world of repayment. Here you can find information on what loans you have, what payment options you have, what to do if you can’t pay, and how you might be able to get your loans forgiven.

Table of Contents

Repayment: What to Expect

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Find Out What You Owe

Visit studentaid.gov to view information about all of the federal student or Parent Plus loans you have received and to find contact information for the loan servicer or lender for your loans.

You will need your FSA ID and password to access your information. If you have forgotten your FSA ID or not yet set one up, you can do so at studentaid.gov.

Watch our tutorial video about studentaid.gov


Know Your Servicer

A loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on your federal student loan. The loan servicer will work with you on repayment plans and will assist you with other tasks related to your federal student loan and Parent PLUS loans.

You can set up an online login with them now to access your loan information, make payments, and access forms.


Know Your Payment Options

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. Once your grace period is up, it will be important that you choose the right payment plan option that works for you.

As a rule of thumb, your payments should not exceed 8 percent of your total income. To find more detailed information on each repayment plan option, visit Federal Student Aid.

Use the loan Loan Simulator to calculate what your payments would look like for each repayment plan.

Loan Consolidation

Carefully consider whether loan consolidation is the best option for you. Loan consolidation can greatly simplify loan repayment by centralizing your loans to one bill and can lower monthly payments by giving you up to 30 years to repay your loans. However, if you increase the length of your repayment period, you'll also make more payments and pay more in interest.

Once your loans are combined into a direct consolidation loan, they cannot be removed. The loans that were consolidated are paid off and no longer exist. It is important to understand that consolidating your loans may make you ineligible for some borrower benefits such as loan forgiveness or cancellation.

If you decide to consolidate during your grace period, you will lose your remaining grace and repayment will begin once your application is processed. If you simply need to reduce your monthly payment, you may consider an income-driven repayment plan instead.

In the case of Parent PLUS Loans, If you are considering the Income Contingent Repayment plan, you will need to consolidate your loans to be eligible.

To find out if consolidation may be right for you, complete this loan consolidation counselor form.

For more detailed information on loan consolidation, you can also visit Federal Student Aid. To apply, visit studentaid.gov and complete the Direct Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note.

Deferment and Forbearance

In some cases, you can receive a deferment or forbearance that allow you to temporarily postpone or reduce your payments. You must apply through your servicer and be approved to qualify. Keep in mind, there are time limits on how long you can be in a deferment or forbearance. While they are available to you, it is important to use them only when you really need them.


During a deferment, you do not need to make payments. The federal government will pay the interest on your subsidized loans during this time as well. All other loans, including PLUS and unsubsidized loans, will continue to accrue interest. Interest will be capitalized (added to your principal balance), and the amount you pay in the future will be higher. Most common reasons for a deferment are unemployment, economic hardship and attending school.


In some cases, you may not qualify for a deferment, but you can qualify for forbearance. With forbearance, you may be able to stop your monthly payments or reduce them for up to 12 months. Interest will accrue on all of your loans during this time.

For a list of reasons you may qualify, visit Federal Student Aid or contact your servicer. To apply, contact your servicer.

Loan Forgiveness and Cancellation

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

The Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers is intended to encourage individuals to enter and remain in the teaching profession. Under this program, you may receive loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 if you teach for five consecutive academic years in schools or educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other requirements.

To learn more and find out if you qualify, visit Federal Student Aid.

Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge

The following Federal Perkins Loan Program cancellations apply to individuals who perform certain types of public service or are employed in certain occupations.

For each complete year of service, a percentage of the loan may be canceled. The total percentage of the loan that can be canceled depends on the type of service performed. Depending on the type of loan you have and when that loan was taken out, you may be eligible to cancel part of or your entire loan if you have served as one of the following:

To learn more or find out if you qualify, contact the university’s Federal Perkins Loan specialist with any questions at 503-554-2239 or perkins@georgefox.edu.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

The PSLF program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your Federal Direct Loan Program loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers.

Eligibility Requirements for PSLF:

To learn more and find out if you qualify, visit Myfedloan.org/PSLF.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Example


Meet Summer...

Summer graduated with a total of $50,000 in federal student loans. After graduating, she landed a job as a case worker and applied for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. She currently has an Adjusted Gross Income of $35,000.

This is what her repayment would look like with Public Service Loan Forgiveness:

Repayment Plan Repayment Period Total Amount Paid Total Amount Forgiven
Income Contingent 120 months $55,952 $19,858
Income Based (IBR) 120 months $37,222 $45,711
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) 120 months $24,814 $57,189