Are you struggling to make ends meet while paying your federal student loans? You are not the only one. Fortunately, there is help available.
There are four income-based repayment options available from the government. These plans adjust your monthly student loan payment based on how much you earn. Income-Based Repayment (or IBR) is one option. This lowers your student loan bills if you are unable to pay them. Here’s the information you need to know about this option.
What is IBR?
We mentioned that IBR is one of the four income-driven student loan repayment options or Partial Financial Hardship Student Loans.
These plans are based on how much you earn, not on the Standard Repayment Plan’s loan balance. Your student loan payment is limited to 10-15% of your discretionary income. This extends your loan term up to 20-25 years depending on the date your loans were issued.
What are the pros and disadvantages of IBR?
IBR allows you to make lower monthly payments, which will help you manage your debt better. IBR offers you the best benefits after your loan term. The remaining balance of your loan will be forgiven. After you have made on-time payments for 20-25 years under IBR
Are you eligible for IBR?
You must show that your student loan payments are excessive compared to your income in order to be eligible for IBR.
In particular, IBR payments would need to be lower than the Standard Repayment Plan. This plan is available for all federal Direct student loans, except those that were made to parents. Federal Perkins Loans can only be consolidated.
IBR is a good idea when?
IBR is very similar to PAYE, another repayment plan. It does not have such strict eligibility requirements. However, PAYE limits the eligibility of new borrowers starting Oct. 1, 2007. IBR is a great option for a graduate who has a loan that was paid before Oct. 2017 but is not eligible for PAYE.
How does IBR calculate payment?
IBR offers two types of terms:
- New borrowers who apply after July 1, 2014, will have their payments capped at 10% of their discretionary income. The loan term can be extended up to 20 years for borrowers who are new.
- Borrowers whose first loans were made before July 1, 2014, will have their payments capped at 15% of their discretionary income and a loan term of up to 25 years.
To get an estimate of your student loan payments under this plan, use our Income-Based Calculator. The annual payment equals 10% or 15% of that amount. Remember that your monthly payment amount will increase with your income — and you must submit income verification on a regular basis.
How can I sign up for IBR?
Fill out the online application to enroll in IBR. This application is free and takes less than 10 minutes. It will be necessary to answer questions about your financial situation. You should have documents such as a W-2 or other proof of income.