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Income-Driven Repayment Plans

If your student loan debt is high compared to your income, you may be interested in the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan, the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan, Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Repayment Plan, or the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan. These four income-driven repayment plans are designed to help make your student loan debt manageable. They provide an affordable regular monthly payment amount based on your income. The PAYE and REPAYE plans usually offer the lowest regular monthly payment amount of these income-driven repayment plans. See the charts below for a comparison of the regular monthly payment amounts across all four income-driven repayment plans.

About the Plans

Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment

For Direct Loans only, this plan includes a regular monthly payment amount based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and total eligible federal student loan balance. If you make qualifying payments for 20 years and have only undergraduate-level federal student loans, or for 25 years if you have at least one eligible graduate-level federal student loan, your remaining current balance will be forgiven. Some student loans are not eligible for this plan, including Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans, as well as Federal Direct Parent PLUS and Federal Direct Consolidation Loans containing at least one Federal Parent PLUS Loan. Eligible student loans can be placed on the REPAYE Plan after they are in a repayment status.

Pay As You Earn Repayment

For Direct Loans only, on this plan, your payments are based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and total federal student loan balance. After 20 years of qualifying payments, your loans are eligible for forgiveness. You must have at least one eligible Direct Loan that had a disbursement on or after October 1, 2011, to be eligible for this repayment plan. If you had any student loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2007, that had an active balance as of October 1, 2007, you are not eligible for this plan. Additionally, private loans, Federal Perkins Loans, FFELP Loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans that repaid Direct or Federal Parent PLUS Loans or loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2007, are not eligible.

Income-Based Repayment

This repayment plan is for both FFELP and Direct Loans. Your payment amount is based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and total indebtedness. After 20 or 25 years (depending on the terms of your loans) of qualifying payments, your remaining loan balance is eligible for forgiveness. Parent PLUS loans and consolidation loans (which includes at least one parent PLUS loan) do not qualify for this plan. Use our Income-Based Repayment calculator to see if this plan is right for you.

Income-Contingent Repayment

For Direct Loans only, on this plan, your payments are based on your adjusted gross income, family size, and total Direct Loan balance (excluding parent PLUS loans). Your remaining loan balance is eligible for forgiveness after 25 years of qualifying payments. Parent PLUS loans and consolidation loans containing parent PLUS loans that entered repayment before 2006 do not qualify. Calculate what your payments will be on this plan.

See how the monthly payment amounts on the four income-driven repayment plans compare. The chart below provides estimates for a single person with a family size of one.

REPAYE, PAYE, IBR, ICR Plan Comparisons
Debt $20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
REPAYE Plan Payment Initial: $186
Final: $222
Initial: $186
Final: $444
Initial: $186
Final: $613
($8381)
Initial: $186
Final: $613
($8381)
Initial: $186
Final: $613
($8381)
Total Paid $27,224 $71,776 $87,979
($134,3581)
$87,979
($134,3581)
$87,979
($134,3581)
# of Months 127 218 240
(3001)
240
(3001)
240
(3001)
PAYE Plan and IBR Plan for new borrowers on or after July 1, 2014 Payment Initial: $186
Final: $222
Initial: $186
Final: $444
Initial: $186
Final: $613
Initial: $186
Final: $613
Initial: $186
Final: $613
Total Paid $27,224 $59,028 $87,979 $87,979 $87,979
# of Months 127 218 240 240 240
IBR Plan for those who are not new borrowers on or after July 1, 2014 Payment N/A Initial: $279
Final: $444
Initial: $279
Final: $666
Initial: $279
Final: $888
Initial: $279
Final: $1,110
Total Paid N/A $59,028 $107,665 $171,153 $195,840
# of Months N/A 152 218 285 300
ICR Plan Payment Initial: $168
Final: $195
Initial: $336
Final: $390
Initial: $471
Final: $586
Initial: $471
Final: $781
Initial: $471
Final: $985
Total Paid $29,556 $59,113 $89,303 $130,325 $184,823
# of Months 162 162 164 192 236

1Estimate for borrowers who have at least one student loan obtained for graduate- or professional-level study.

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