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Extended graduated student loan repayment is a variation of the extended repayment plan. Both extended plans lower payments by lengthening your repayment term, but extended graduated repayment also initially decreases your payments based on how much you owe.
Extended graduated repayment at a glance
Repayment length: 25 years.
Number of payments: 300.
Payments amounts: Increase every two years.
Other qualifications: Must owe more than $30,000 in federal student loans.
Is extended graduated repayment right for you?
Probably not. Generally, any repayment plan that lowers your payments or extends your repayment term will result in you paying more interest. Since extended graduated student loan repayment does both, this repayment plan will likely result in you paying more interest than under any other option.
Extended graduated repayment or the 10-year graduated repayment plan might make sense if you don’t expect to earn much money right after graduation. As your income grows over time, you should be able to afford the larger payments later in the repayment term. But if your payments outpace your earnings, you could run into trouble.
Consider income driven-repayment
If your income is small and you owe the more than $30,000 needed to qualify for extended repayment, income-driven repayment (IDR) is a better option. Income-driven repayment ties payments to your income — so they shouldn’t rise above what you can afford — and offers forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of payments.
There are four types of IDR plans:
Best if you
Don’t have graduate loans.
Have high earning potential.
Are married with two incomes.
Have graduate loans.
Have low earning potential.
Don’t qualify for PAYE.
Have FFELP student loans.
Have parent PLUS loans.
Want to reduce payments slightly.
Payments under the extended graduated repayment plan
Under extended graduated student loan repayment, your payments start small and then increase every two years. You can also choose a fixed version of the extended repayment plan, which splits payment amounts evenly over the 25 years.
For example, let’s say you have a $35,000 student loan with an interest rate of 4%. Here is what your payments would look like under both extended repayment plan options:
Plug your own loan information into the Education Department’s Loan Simulator to get an idea of how much you’d pay under each extended repayment option, as well as other student loan repayment plans.
How to switch to extended graduated student loan repayment
Contact your federal student loan servicer to switch to the extended or extended graduated repayment plan. You can change repayment plans at any time. When you do, any interest you owe will be capitalized, or added to your balance. This will further increase the amount you repay.
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