Problems Accessing July 1 IBR Changes?

We recently told you about important IBR improvements for married borrowers and people whose loan balance has grown since entering repayment. These new rules went into effect on July 1.  Since then, we've heard from some frustrated borrowers whose lenders insist that the new rule eliminating the unfair penalty for married borrowers either doesn't exist or won't be implemented for months! We immediately alerted the U.S. Department of Education and pressed for a quick resolution.

The Department informs us that the problem should now be fixed for borrowers who enroll in IBR starting today (Monday, July 19).  If you're already in IBR, are married, file a joint tax return, and your spouse also has federal student loan debt, contact your lender right away to ask to have your payment adjusted. Then let us know whether or not you encountered any problems: just send a brief email, including the name of your lender, to We can't respond individually due to high volume, but we need your help to monitor the situation to make IBR work better for borrowers.

Please note: IBRinfo is a project of the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit research and policy organization. We have a small staff and are not directly involved in the administration of the federal student loan program or Income-Based Repayment. We cannot give financial advice or guidance to individuals, but advocate for policy changes and strive to provide general information that consumers can use to manage their student loan debt.


(This message was sent to the IBRinfo email list on July 19, 2010)


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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