We’ve previously discussed if you can change your federal student loan repayment plan (and, yes, you can.) and what your options are for repayment. Typically, when someone is looking to change their repayment plan terms it is to get a lower monthly payment.
While a lower monthly payment can be more affordable each month, it is important to fully understand what the change will mean in the long term—mostly paying more overall due to an increase in term length and interest. For those struggling to make the larger payment over the short term, paying more in the long run is the acceptable consequence to avoid defaulting on your student loan—a status that is difficult to recover from.
Once you are sure that a change to your federal student loan repayment plan is right for you, here is how you can go about changing your repayment option. If you aren’t positive what each plan will look like, you can check out the Repayment Estimator provided by the Federal Student Aid website.
If you are behind on your payments or have fallen into default, you will first have to recover your account status before a change in payment options may be allowed. Contact us to help resolve your student loan account status and get enrolled in a more affordable plan.
How to change your student loan repayment plan:
- Contact your loan servicer. You can call or sign into your online account. Not sure who your loan servicer is? Read up here to find out how to identify your loan servicer.
- Complete paperwork. Some of the repayment options may require you to complete an application and/or provide proof of income. Get these done and submitted as quickly as possible to get your new student loan repayment plan started.
- Watch the mail. You’ll get updated about the change in your repayment plan change. Keep an eye out for the documentation of your new monthly payment; also, your payment due date may change as well—be very mindful to check for this date to avoid missing a payment.
- Enroll in autopay. Now that you have a more affordable payment option, enroll in autopay and never stress out about your payments again. Many student loan servicers offer a lower interest rate for those who enroll in autopay, so there could be an added benefit for you. If you changed plans after consolidating, your student loan servicer may also change. Be sure to update your payment information with your new servicer and re-enroll in autopay if you were previous set up with your last provider.