Summary of Existing IDR Options in the U.S.

  Available? Eligibility Monthly Payment Cap Discharge After
Income-Based Repayment (Classic IBR) Now
(since 2009)
All borrowers with federal student loans (Direct or FFEL), new or old, with a partial financial hardship (PFH).a 15% of discretionary incomeb 25 years
Income-Based Repayment (2014 IBR) Now
(since July 1, 2014)
Borrowers who take out their first loan on or after July 1, 2014,c and have a PFH. 10% of discretionary income 20 years
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Now
(since 2012)
Direct Loan borrowers who took out their first loan after September 30, 2007 and at least one after September 30, 2011, and have a PFH. 10% of discretionary income 20 years
Income- Contingent Repayment (ICR) Now
(since 1994)
Borrowers with Direct Loans, new or old; no PFH requirement. The lesser of: 20% of discretionary income and 12- yr repayment amount x income percentage factor 25 years

* These plans are only available for federal student loans that are not in default. Parent PLUS loans are not covered. For more information about these repayment plans, see U.S. Department of Education, "Repayment Plans."


a Borrowers have a "partial financial hardship" (PFH) if their calculated payment based on income and family size is less than what they would pay under the 10-year standard repayment plan.


b For Classic IBR, 2014 IBR, and PAYE, discretionary income is defined as the amount of adjusted gross income (AGI) above 150% of the poverty level for the borrower's household size. For ICR, discretionary income is defined as the amount of AGI above 100% of the poverty level for the borrower's household size.


c Borrowers can also become eligible for this plan if they had loans before July 1, 2014 but paid them off before borrowing again on or after July 1, 2014. Note that no new FFEL Program loans have been made since June 30, 2010, so only Direct Loans will be eligible for repayment under 2014 IBR.

 

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