Repayment Options

The first step to successful repayment is choosing the right plan at the right time.  Borrowers may change plans as needed, and there are no prepayment penalties for student loans.  

Before researching different repayment plans that might be available for your federal and campus loans, it is essential that you first locate all of your loans. This process is not as easy as it sounds.  Please view the Preparing for Repayment section to help you navigate and prepare for repaying your loans.  It is important, too, to think about how likely it is that you will want to participate in one of the loan forgiveness programs that are based on employment in either the non-profit public service sector or for specific organizations in under-served areas (see Loan Forgiveness Programs.

Federal Loan Repayment Plans

This chart summarizes the available repayment plans for Federal Loans (Direct Unsubsidized or Subsidized Loans, Grad Plus Loans, and, for the most part, older Stafford loans called "FFEL" loans).  Most UCSF graduates want a plan with a lower payment due each month at first, especially if pursuing residency, fellowship, or other continuing training.  However, seeking the "lowest" payment available is not the best long-term plan - as with other interest-bearing debt, the longer you take, the more it will cost over the life of the loan.  The income-driven plans all offer a way to tie your minimum required payment to your current annual earnings and the choice among them depends largely upon your monthly budget (what you can afford) and whether your loans qualify for each plan.  To see what your monthly payments will look like under each of the available plans use the Repayment Estimator, available at  Once you sign in, you can view your loans, enter your salary, your marital status, number of dependents and tax filing status, and you can get a very good idea of what your monthly payments will be under each plan.

Other Loans

University of California, Health Professions, Nursing Student Loans and Federal Perkins loans each have their own terms and conditions for grace periods, repayment options, as well as deferment and forbearance options.  They do NOT qualify for the repayment plans shown in the chart above, including income-driven repayment.  However, all of these loans (except University loans) may be included in a Federal consolidation loan and thereby the balances transferred to the new loan can become eligible for income-driven repayment and qualify for public-service loan forgiveness.   

As you do your required exit counseling upon graduating or withdrawing from the University, you will see a chart that will show you your minimum payments (usually quarterly payments are shown.)  You may also use the following worksheet to estimate your monthly loan repayments on these loans:

X (B)
Perkins at 5% $30/month $3,800 .010527 X =
University at 5% $30/month $2,370 .010527 X =
HPSL/NSL/LDS/PCL at 5% $15/month $1,415 .010601 X =
Stafford at 8.25%
Direct at 8.25%
$4,100 .012196 X =


Perkins - Federal Perkins Student Loan
University - University of California Loan
HPSL - Health Professions Student Loan
NSL - Nursing Student Loan
LDS - Loans for Disadvantaged Students
PCL - Primary Care Loan
Stafford/Direct - Federal Stafford/Direct Loan

Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs