Important IBR and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Updates

Updates to IBRinfo and New Enrollment Numbers

We've updated our IBR Calculator with the most recent poverty data (2012), which is part of the IBR formula. If you used the calculator in the past and did not appear to qualify, try again to check your estimated eligibility and loan payments.

We've learned that 630,000 federal student loan borrowers were successfully enrolled in IBR by the end of February 2012! This is great news, but so many more borrowers could benefit from IBR - if they knew about it. Please help spread the word and tell a friend about IBR!


Why You Need to Know Your IBR Anniversary

If you're already in IBR, make sure your lender has updated income information for you before the annual anniversary of your enrollment in the program, so they can determine your payment for the next year. Missing your deadline can result in a much higher payment that doesn't take your income into account. Currently, lenders aren't required to notify borrowers about this crucial deadline. Borrowers have reported that it can take up to three months to process the paperwork, and processing delays can also trigger a high payment.

If you're unsure about your anniversary date or what type of documents you have to submit, contact your loan servicer for more information.

Note: We've been working with student and consumer groups to make this process work better for borrowers, including requiring lenders to notify borrowers in advance and preventing borrowers from being penalized for servicing delays.  As a result, the Department of Education will soon publish draft rules intended to address these issues.


Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Now You Can Track Your Eligibility

In January 2012, the Department of Education issued the long-awaited Employment Certification Form for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Direct Loan borrowers who work in the public and nonprofit sectors can now get confirmation that their job counts as qualifying employment for PSLF. Using this form will make it much easier to track your eligibility, know when it's time to apply for forgiveness, and have the paperwork you need in hand.

Visit the Federal Student Aid website for the Employment Certification instructions, fact sheet, and form.

Special Consolidation Loans: Only Available Until June 30

Last October, the Obama Administration announced a new, but time-limited, borrower benefit: Special Direct Consolidation Loans. If you have at least one William D. Ford Direct loan (Direct loan) and one Federal Family Education loan (FFEL loan), you can consolidate them into a Special Consolidation Loan and get an interest rate reduction of at least .25 percent on the FFEL loan(s). But only until June 30 of this year!

Earlier this year, federal loan servicers began notifying borrowers about their eligibility and how to apply by regular and electronic mail. If you think you may qualify, keep an eye out for communication from a loan servicer that might not be the one you're used to hearing from. It will be from either PHEAA, Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Nelnet, or Sallie Mae. You can also call 1-800-4-FED-AID to determine your eligibility. Remember: the deadline to consolidate is June 30, 2012.

For more information, check out the Department of Education's Special Consolidation Loan resource page.

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Support our Work: Donate!

TICAS is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, and we developed the policy framework that became the basis for IBR. The generous support of people like you helps make IBRinfo.org and our other work possible. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to support our ongoing efforts to make college more affordable and reduce the burden of student debt.

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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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