Which plans am I eligible for?

The quickest way to see which plans you probably qualify for is to visit the Department of Education's easy online Repayment Estimator. For details about eligibility for Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), see below.


If you borrowed Direct Loans for your own education:

All Direct student loans that aren't in default are eligible for REPAYE.

IBR and PAYE have additional requirements. To qualify for those plans, your calculated monthly payment (per the formulas in "What's my monthly payment?") must be lower than what you would be required to pay under the 10-year "standard" repayment plan. Also, to qualify for PAYE, you must have taken out your first federal loan after September 30, 2007 and received a loan disbursement after September 30, 2011.


If you borrowed Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) for your own education:

You can repay your FFEL loans under IBR, but you may be able to get lower monthly payments and a shorter repayment period by consolidating your FFEL loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan at http://StudentLoans.gov and enrolling in PAYE or REPAYE. Click here and here for information about the pros and cons of consolidating.


If you borrowed Perkins Loans:

Perkins Loans are not eligible for IDR, but you can consolidate your Perkins Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to repay them under any of these plans. However, you may lose certain loan benefits. Click here and here for information about the pros and cons of consolidating.


If you borrowed for your child's education:

Parent PLUS loans are not eligible for IBR, PAYE, or REPAYE. However, you can consolidate them into a Direct Consolidation Loan to repay them under the Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) plan. Click here and here for information about the pros and cons of consolidating.

If you have both Parent PLUS loans and loans you took out for your own education (e.g., Stafford Loans, Grad PLUS loans), be careful to not combine them into one consolidation loan. A consolidation loan that includes a Parent PLUS loan is ineligible for IBR, PAYE, and REPAYE.


If you have defaulted on your loans:

Defaulted loans are not eligible for any of the IDR plans. However, you can rehabilitate those defaulted loans or consolidate them into one of these IDR plans. For information about getting out of default, click here and here.

Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn are two ways to 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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