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How Long Does Repayment Take in Reality?

While repayment plan terms offer some insight into the amount of time it takes to pay off student loans, repayment in practice can take a different course. Here are some actions that can increase or decrease the amount of time it takes to repay a student loan in full.

Use our Student Loan Prepayment Calculator to see how much extra payments can make a difference.

According to an analysis of government data by Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher and VP of Research of, the average time in repayment for federal student loans is up 16 or 19 years, depending on whether the maximum repayment term is weighted by the number of borrowers or the amount of the loans.

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Saving For College is an unbiased, independent resource for parents and financial professionals, providing them with information and tools to understand the benefits of 529 college savings plans and how to meet the challenge of increasing college costs.