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25- or 30-Year Student Loan Refinance: What to Know About Extending Your Repayment Term

Can You Refinance a Student Loan to a 30-Year Term?
LeeMarie Kennedy
LeeMarie KennedyUpdated July 1, 2024
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you have student loans and are hoping to decrease the size of your monthly payments, you may want to consider increasing the term of the loan. Keep reading to learn more on how to reduce your monthly payments, whether that’s with an extended repayment plan or a 25-year student loan refinance.

What Is Student Loan Refinancing? 

If you’re looking to refinance student loans, a private lender will pay off your existing loan debt and issue you a new loan agreement. For many, the goal of refinancing is to get a lower interest rate and better terms that can save you money over time. If you’re trying to cut down on the number of monthly payments you make, you can refinance multiple student loans into one, making it so you’ll only have to make one loan payment per month. You can also refinance your student loans to adjust the length of the repayment terms (such as shortening a loan term from 10 years to 5 or lengthening a loan term from 15 years to 20). The longer the loan, typically the lower the monthly payments will be. Recommended: Student Loan Interest: How Much Interest Should You Expect to Pay on Student Loans?The longer the loan, the lower the payments. Some people are even trying to get 30 year student loan refinance deals. Refinancing can be a solid option for some borrowers, but it’s important to weigh the benefits of refinancing student loans against the downsides.

Extending Your Repayment Term  

Federal student loans typically offer a 10-year repayment window, but the length of repayment time doesn’t need to stay that way. Borrowers have several options if they’re looking for an extension on their student loans. Here are a few ways to add more time to your student loan repayment plan:  

Extended Repayment Term  

The federal government’s Extended Repayment Plan lets you repay your loans over a period of up to 25 years. This allows you to make lower monthly payments over a longer period of time, which may be the right financial move for you. The following loans are eligible for the Extended Repayment Plan:
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Subsidized & Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FEEL) PLUS Loans & FFEL Consolidation Loans
Under an Extended Repayment Plan, the monthly payments are: 
  • Made for up to 25 years
  • A fixed or graduated amount 
  • Typically lower than payments made through Standard and Graduated Repayment Plans
In order to qualify for the Extended Repayment Plan, there are certain eligibility requirements you must meet.

Income-Driven Repayment 

When you’re in college, you try to get information on need-based financial aid. After graduation, an income-driven repayment plan sets your monthly student loan payment based on your income and family size to ensure affordability. Last year, President Joe Biden announced the SAVE Plan, which offers income-based repayment at lower amounts than previously available. Based on income and family size, the payments could go as low as 5% of a person’s monthly earnings.

Which Private Refinancing Lenders Offer Student Loan Term Longer Than 20 Years?  

When you refinance with certain private lenders, some may offer repayment terms that are longer than 20 years, like a 25-year student loan refinance. It is not always possible to get the refinancing deal you want, especially if you are trying to refinance student loans with bad credit.Two lenders who offer 25 year student loan refinances are below. 

Pros and Cons of Refinancing to an Extended Term  

If you are intent on a 25-year student loan refinance, here are some of the pros of refinancing your student loan to an extended payment term:
  • Lower monthly payments 
  • Possibly a lower interest rate
  • The ability to lengthen or shorten your repayment period
  • The ease of making payments in one place
  • The option of adding a cosigner
And here are a few of the cons of refinancing your student loan to an extended payment term:
  • Losing the perks and protections of federal student loan plans, like federal student loan forgiveness 
  • Stricter eligibility requirements (borrowers will likely need a good credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio)
Recommended: Pros and Cons of Student Loan Refinancing

Student Loan Refinancing Options With Lantern  

Refinancing can give you a loan with a longer term. Remember, though, that refinancing a federal loan to a private one means you are no longer eligible for federal forgiveness or other government programs. With Lantern, you can compare student loan refinance options and find the one that fits your personal financial goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I refinance my student loans for a longer term?
How can I refinance my student loan at a lower rate?
Are students forgiven after 30 years?
How many years can I refinance my loan for?
Does refinancing affect my credit score?
Photo credit: iStock/LeoPatrizi

About the Author

LeeMarie Kennedy

LeeMarie Kennedy

LeeMarie Kennedy is a Boston-based copywriter and content creator with over a decade of experience writing for a variety of publishers, institutions, and corporations. She has spent the last few years focusing on writing for financial services, technology, HR and TA, and health & wellness sectors. LeeMarie has a BA in Journalism from Quinnipiac University and a MS in Organizational Communication from Northeastern University and was an original contributor to The Daily, SoFi's newsletter.
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