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Income-Driven Repayment Information Center

Income-driven repayment plans are designed to make repaying your student loan debt more manageable by reducing your monthly payment amount. They are based on your income, family size, and federal student loan debt. If you need to make lower monthly payments, we recommend that you repay your loan(s) under one of the following income-driven plans.

Once you are approved for an income-driven repayment plan, your reduced payment amount will be valid for 12 months and you will be required to reapply each year by submitting a new Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form that will provide us with your updated income and family size information. If your balance is not repaid in full after making the equivalent of 20 or 25 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 20 or 25 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness. You may, however, be required to pay taxes on the amount that's forgiven.

Income-Driven Repayment Plans

Below you will find descriptions and requirements for each income-driven repayment plan. Not sure of your loan type?

Income-Based Repayment - Direct Loans and FFELP Loans

During Income Based Repayment (IBR), your monthly payments are based on your eligible federal student loan debt, income, family size, and state of residence and it is designed to help borrowers experiencing "partial financial hardship". You are considered to have a partial financial hardship if the annual amount due on all of your eligible loans exceeds 15% of the difference between your adjusted gross income (AGI)*, as shown on your federal income tax return, and 150% of the poverty line amount for your family size. If you are approved for IBR, you are required to reapply each year by submitting a new Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form that will provide us with your updated income and family size information. If your annual income and family size information is not received by your annual renewal date, your payment will increase to what you would be required to pay under a Standard 10-year repayment plan. If your loan(s) is not repaid in full after you have made the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 25 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness.

If you are a Direct Loan borrower who has no outstanding balance on a FFELP or Direct loan on July 1, 2014 OR no outstanding balance on the date you obtain a new Direct loan after July 1, 2014, you will qualify for IBR if the annual amount due on all of your eligible loans exceeds 10% of the difference between your adjusted gross income (AGI), as shown on your federal income tax return, and 150% of the poverty line amount for your family size. If your loan(s) is not repaid in full after you have made the equivalent of 20 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 20 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness.

Learn More About Income-based Repayment

*If you are married and file your taxes jointly with your spouse, your spouse's income is included in your AGI. If your spouse has eligible student loans, his or her loan debt may also be included as part of your eligible loan debt. If you believe that your AGI, as reported on your most recently filed federal income tax return, does not reasonably reflect your current income (and/or your spouse's current income), you may complete the Alternative Documentation of Income form and provide proof of your current income.

Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) - Direct Loans Only

REPAYE became available in December 2015 and offers several benefits including: a potentially lower monthly payment, no disbursement date restrictions, loan forgiveness after 20 or 25 years, and interest subsidies to prevent ballooning loan balances.

This plan is available for Direct Loan borrowers only, and eligible loan types include: Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized, Direct GradPLUS, and Direct Consolidation loans. Direct Parent PLUS loans, defaulted loans, and consolidation loans that repaid a Parent PLUS loan cannot be repaid under the REPAYE plan.

Your monthly payments are based on your eligible federal student loan debt, income, and family size. The payment amount is valid for 12 months at a time and you are required to reapply each year by submitting a new Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form that will provide us with your updated income and family size information. If your income and family size information is not received by your annual renewal date, you will be removed from the REPAYE plan and placed on an Alternative Repayment plan. Your new payment amount will be a fixed amount, determined by your total outstanding balance and a repayment term that is the lesser of either 10 years from the date you were placed on an Alternative Repayment plan or the date your loan(s) would have reached forgiveness under REPAYE.

Under REPAYE, your remaining balance will be forgiven after 20 or 25 years (you may qualify for forgiveness after 20 years if the loans being repaid under the REPAYE plan include only loans you received to pay for undergraduate study, whereas you may qualify for forgiveness after 25 years if the loans being repaid under the REPAYE plan include a loan you received to pay for graduate or professional study).

Learn More About REPAYE

*If you are married, regardless of your tax filing status with your spouse, your spouse's income will be included in your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). If your spouse has eligible student loans, his or her loan debt may also be considered when calculating your monthly payment on REPAYE. If you believe that your AGI, as reported on your most recently filed federal income tax return, does not reasonably reflect your current income and your spouse's current income (if applicable), you may provide alternative documentation of income and provide proof of your current income (as instructed in Section 5 on the Income-Driven Repayment Request form).

Pay As You Earn - Direct Loans Only

This plan is available to NEW Direct Loan borrowers except borrowers of Direct Parent PLUS loans or Direct Consolidation Loans IF they paid off a Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized, Direct Graduate PLUS, and Direct Consolidation Loans (excluding those that paid off Direct Parent PLUS loans) are eligible.

If you are a Direct Loan borrower who has no balance on a Direct or FFELP loan as of October 1, 2007, or has no balance on a Direct or FFELP loan on the date you obtained new loan after October 1, 2007 AND received a disbursement (first or any subsequent disbursement) of a Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, or Grad PLUS loan on/after October 1, 2011 OR obtained Direct Consolidation loan from an application received on/after October 1, 2011, and all of the underlying Direct and/or FFELP loans were first disbursed on/after October 1, 2007 you may be eligible for Pay As You Earn. You will qualify for Pay As You Earn if the annual amount due on all of your eligible loans exceeds 10% of the difference between your adjusted gross income (AGI)*, as shown on your federal income tax return, and 150% of the poverty line amount for your family size. If you are approved for PAYE, you are required to reapply each year by submitting a new Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form that will provide us with your updated income and family size information. If your loan(s) is not repaid in full after you have made the equivalent of 20 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 20 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness.

*If you are married and file your taxes jointly with your spouse, your spouse's income is included in your AGI. If your spouse has eligible student loans, his or her loan debt may also be included as part of your eligible loan debt. If you believe that your AGI, as reported on your most recently filed federal income tax return, does not reasonably reflect your current income (and/or your spouse's current income), you may complete the Alternative Documentation of Income form and provide proof of your current income.

Income-Contingent Repayment - Direct Loans Only

This plan is available to all Direct Loan borrowers except borrowers of Direct Parent PLUS loans or Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans. Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized, Direct Graduate PLUS, and Direct Consolidation Loans (even if they paid off Parent PLUS loans) are eligible. Note that if your loan(s) entered repayment prior to July 1, 1996 and you have been repaying under ICR prior to July 1, 1996, you may have a different ICR payment calculation.

During Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), your monthly payments are based on your eligible federal student loan debt, income, and family size and you are required to reapply each year by submitting a new Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request form that will provide us with your updated income and family size information. If your annual income and family size information is not received by your annual renewal date, your payment will increase to what you would be required to pay under a Standard 10-year repayment plan. Your ICR payment is the lesser of 20% of your discretionary income OR the amount you would repay annually over 12 years using a standard amortization multiplied by an income percentage factor based your adjusted gross income (AGI)* and whether you are single or married/head of household. If your loan(s) is not repaid in full after you have made the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying monthly payments and at least 25 years have elapsed, any remaining debt will be eligible for forgiveness.

*If you are married and file your taxes jointly with your spouse, your spouse's income is included in your AGI. If your spouse has eligible student loans, his or her loan debt may also be included as part of your eligible loan debt. If you believe that your AGI, as reported on your most recently filed federal income tax return, does not reasonably reflect your current income (and/or your spouse's current income), you may complete the Alternative Documentation of Income form and provide proof of your current income.

Use the Repayment Estimator on studentloans.gov to see which plan is right for you. Here you will be able to see a side-by-side comparison of each repayment plan, which plan(s) you're eligible for, and what your monthly payment will be.

Are you seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness? If so, you should repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan.

How to Submit Your Request

Skip the paperwork and have your request processed faster by completing it online at studentloans.gov*. This is the quickest and easiest way to submit your request. You will need your FSA ID, personal information, spousal information (if applicable), and income information to complete the request.

* FFELP loan borrowers (account number begins with "C") are not able to apply on studentloans.gov.

If you are unable to complete the online request, you can get a copy of the paper request form on our Forms page.

Additional Resources