Can They Help Me? - Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
IBR is designed to help borrowers whose income makes a Standard (10-year) loan payment hard to afford. Anyone with eligible loans can apply to see if his or her payments will be more affordable under IBR, which will be available starting July 1, 2009.
IBR can help you if:
- You have federal student loans in either the Direct or Guaranteed (FFEL) Loan program.
- Your loans include Stafford, Grad Plus, and federal Consolidation loans that do not include Parent PLUS loans. Perkins loans are eligible if you consolidate them into a federal Guaranteed (FFEL) or Direct loan.
- You borrowed before or after IBR was created, for either graduate or undergraduate study.
- Your debt-to-income ratio qualifies you for reduced payments. Use our calculator to check if you might meet this test.
IBR is not available for:
- PLUS loans made to parents, or Consolidation loans that include Parent PLUS loans.
- Private (or "alternative") student loans, state loans, and other loans not guaranteed by the federal government.
If you are married, you should be aware that both your spouse’s income and your own income are considered to determine the resources you have available to make payments on your federal student loan(s). This is true whether or not your spouse is also making student loan payments. Therefore, under current IBR regulations, when two married individuals both have student loan debt and file taxes jointly, they could be expected to pay up to double the monthly loan payment of two unmarried borrowers in otherwise identical situations. To learn more about this problem, and the Project on Student Debt’s efforts to fix it, click here. To see if this problem affects you, please visit our IBR calculator.
To learn more about how to qualify for IBR and when you can apply, register here, and we will notify you as more details become available.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
This benefit is for people who work in certain "public service" jobs in government and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations (for details see What are eligible jobs?). The program will forgive remaining federal student loan debt after 10 years of eligible employment and qualifying payments.
Reprinted with the permission of The Institute for College Access & Success.
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