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How to Get Lower Student Loan Payments

Are you having trouble paying off student loans?

Are you having trouble finding work, or are rent and other expenses getting in the way? Thankfully, there are options to help you out with your finances and lower your student loan payments. For a more thorough explanation of programs available to you and help with choosing the best repayment option, schedule an appointment with an NFCC student loan counselor.

Here are some options that can help you lower your student loan payments.

An income-driven repayment plan

One good option when it comes to talking about how to get lower student loan payments is an income-driven repayment plan. An income repayment plan is designed to make your loans more manageable and lower your student loan payments, depending on income and family size.

There are numerous types of income-driven repayment plans for federal student loans – Pay As You Earn Repayment Plans (PAYE), Revised Pay As You earn Repayment Plans (REPAYE), Income-Based Repayment Plans (IBR) and Income-Contingent Repayment Plans (ICR).

These plans are based on income, and provide for forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of qualifying repayment, depending on the plan and when the student borrowed.

Click here to apply for an income-driven repayment plan for federal student loans.

Student loan refinancing

Should you choose refinance your student loans in order to help get lower student loan payments, you can consolidate multiple loans into one, with the advantage being a lower interest rate.

Lenders which offer student loan refinancing will look at different background factors – such as credit score and income. Even if you have poor credit, you can get better refinance offers with a co-signer.

Extended Repayment Plans

An extended repayment plan will offer a fixed monthly payment for the remainder of the term, and can help you save money each month. However, there will be a longer repayment term than the standard payment.

Forbearance and deferment

You have to meet certain eligibility requirements, but both of these options will allow the borrower to temporarily stop making student loan payments for a specified amount of time. The difference between the two options is that with deferment, you generally won’t be responsible for interests that adds up during the time your student loans are being deferred.

Hopefully, one of these options will be right for you and will help your overall financial situation. For more information how to get lower student loan payments, schedule an appointment with an NFCC-certified student loan counselor.

Who is the NFCC?

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) is the nation's first and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving people's financial well-being.

NFCC members help millions of consumers like you through community-based offices located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Each NFCC member agency has earned our seal by adhering to high standards and ethical practices designed to help you achieve financial stability.

Funding for operations and services comes from an ever-changing combination of federal, state and local government grants, as well as donations from financial industry participants and private donors.

For more on the NFCC, visit

Thank you to our funders.

The Sharpen Your Financial Focus program is an initiative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) in partnership with a broad cross-section of supporters. Together, we are committed to increasing the financial well-being of Americans. This initiative is partially funded by Bank of America, Chase, Synchrony, Wells Fargo and other major financial institutions. We thank all funders and partners who make this program possible. For more information, visit

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Bruce McClary
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