Planning Your Federal Student Loan Repayment Schedule Intelligently

You should plan your federal student loan repayment schedule based on your prospects for employment after college and your ability to meet your loan payment requirements. The two types of federal student loans that are available have different repayment schedules that will influence how you approach loan repayment.

Through the federal government, students and parents can borrow money from the Stafford loan or PLUS loan program. Stafford loans have a limit on the amount that can be borrowed by a student based on their year in school. These loans have a low interest rate and do not have to be repaid until 6 months after the student graduates or leave school.

PLUS loans provide a way for students and parents to meet any unfunded need for college. There is no limit on the amount that can be borrowed through a PLUS but the loan has to be repaid immediately, while the student is in school. It is possible to request that the PLUS loan be deferred until 6 months after the student leaves school or graduates.

Your loan repayment schedule should take into account the type of work that you plan to do or will be employed and the amount of income that you will earn after college.

Step 1: Create a Budget

Based on the amount of money that you borrowed during the time that you were in school, you need to create a budget that will allow you to set aside the correct amount necessary to pay the loan and meet your other basic living expenses. This budget should serve as a guide to help you stay on track and make timely payments, as they are due.

Step 2: Consolidate Loans

If you take out more than one student loan or have loans that are at higher interest rates than others are, consolidate your loans into 1 payment. This will help make your loan repayment easier and reduce your interest costs. Since the initial repayment is comprised largely of interest payment combined with a smaller principal loan payment, reducing your interest costs will reduce the amount of the loan.

Step 3: Pay More Back

Depending on the type of work that you will be engaged in after school, try to make more than the minimum or required amount of payments. Use any bonuses or raises that you receive during the course of your career to accelerate your payments and bring the interest payments down. This will reduce or eliminate the loan in a shorter period of time and allow you to be free of this obligation.


You should create a sensible plan that allows you to make your student loan payments in a timely and responsible manner. Creating a budget and making arrangements that reduce your costs and allow you to accelerate the loan repayment will serve your interests well in the future as you work to eliminate your student loan debt.


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