You can switch plans at any time throughout your repayment period if you have a student loan from the U.S. Department of Education. But there’s a cost to this freedom: the total amount you owe may increase rapidly due to interest capitalization.
If you work in public service or plan to have your remaining balance forgiven after 20 years of payments, that’s not a problem. The government will write off the debt no matter how much interest is added to your balance.
Switching to the Standard Plan is better if your goal is to pay off your loans quickly. The move won’t change your interest rate or lower your bill. But it will reduce the amount of interest that accumulates on your loans, lowering the total loan amount you’ll pay back.