Costing It Out

The Way You Repay
Student Loans Really Matters

You have a lot of options when it comes to repaying your student debt. The path you choose can mean the difference between an affordable payment and a debt that balloons out of control. Consumer Reports designed this special interactive feature to show how the standard pay-back plan compared with other scenarios—including what happens if you don’t pay at all.

One Loan, 8 Ways to Pay

The way you repay makes a big financial difference. Click on the circles to compare various repayment options against the standard 10-year repayment plan for a $37,173 loan.
  • Explore the borrowers



Total Payments


Years to Pay Back

Dotted lines represent the Standard Repay plan.