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Income-driven repayment plans – like Income-Based Repayment, Pay As You Earn, and Revised Pay As You Earn – cap your federal student loan payments at a percentage of your income. For many borrowers, these plans can help make monthly payments more manageable. If your income is very low, payments can be as little as $0. Income-driven repayment also ensures that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: if you haven’t fully paid off your loans after 20 or 25 years of payments (depending on the plan), the remaining debt is forgiven. If you work in government or at a nonprofit organization, you might qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) after 10 years of payments.

Great News! The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is Back Up for Student Loan Borrowers

For the first time since it was taken down due to security concerns in March, millions of student loan borrowers can once again use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to electronically transfer their tax information into the online application for income-driven repayment (IDR) plans. Using the DRT, borrowers will be able to apply for IDR and update their income online at StudentLoans.gov, without needing to separately provide their tax returns.

We thank the Department of Education and IRS for working together to restore secure access to this critical tool, and for doing so without creating burdensome new requirements that would make it difficult for low-income students to use the DRT. We look forward to a full restoration of the DRT by October 1st, when it will become available for students completing the FAFSA to qualify for financial aid in the 2018-19 year.

For more information about the DRT outage, see our previous blog posts:

Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Available Now!

As of December 17, 2015, all borrowers with federal Direct student loans have access to a new repayment plan with monthly payments capped at 10% of your discretionary income. You can enroll regardless of when you borrowed. If you’re having trouble affording your monthly payments – or just want the assurance of payments based on your income – check out the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plan and see if it’s right for you.

For more about REPAYE, see our blog post.

See below for a summary of REPAYE and the other income-driven repayment plans.

Income-driven repayment plans can help keep monthly payments affordable based on your income and family size. Visit the Department of Education's Repayment Estimator to find out what your payments might be.
 

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