A few weeks ago we ran an item in Into Practice, our e-newletter, about Income-Based Repayment, a new and much-needed strategy to make paying back student loans more affordable. I can't figure out why more people aren't excited about this. Could it be that they don't know about it?
From the IBR website:
Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a new payment option for federal student loans. It can help borrowers keep their loan payments affordable with payment caps based on their income and family size. For most eligible borrowers, IBR loan payments will be less than 10 percent of their income - and even smaller for borrowers with low earnings. IBR will also forgive remaining debt, if any, after 25 years of qualifying payments.
There are also public-service loan forgiveness programs for which social service workers may be eligible after 10 years of payments and employment. Low-earning workers, social workers ... ring any bells?
The most important thing is that anyone can try to improve the terms of his or her loan, no matter when they borrowed. So IRB is highly relevant to direct-service workers, for instance, many of whom say they would stay in the field if not for student loans.
The IRB website has comprehensive information about repayment options, the loan forgiveness option including a repayment calculator, and links to webinars for more information. Link: http://www.ibrinfo.org/index.php