The scoop on Income Based Repayment

Does your current (or future) federal student loan payment seem a bit daunting? As of July 1, there’s a new repayment option for federal student loans that may help.

Income Based Repayment Click here to learn about third-party website links (IBR) is designed to help borrowers who find that their current income makes the required payments with a standard repayment term difficult to afford.

Here’s how it works:

Loan eligibility: IBR is available for the Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans for graduate and professional students, and Federal Consolidation Loans, either with Direct Loans or a private lender like Wells Fargo through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). However, there are a couple of exceptions: The loan cannot be in default, and IBR is not available for Federal PLUS Loans for parents or Federal Consolidation Loans that repaid a Federal PLUS Loan for parents.

Payment calculation: Through IBR, borrowers’ monthly payments are calculated by taking into consideration their adjusted gross income Click here to learn about third-party website links, family size, and the state where they reside. If the IBR payment is less than the payment under a 10-year standard repayment plan, then the borrower is eligible for IBR. To see if you may qualify, calculate the payment with Income Based Repayment Click here to learn about third-party website links and compare the payment with Standard Repayment.

How to apply: If you find that your payment with IBR may be lower than with a standard repayment period, you can apply for IBR directly through your lender. If your loan is with Wells Fargo, you can call 1-800-658-3567.

Now that you know how it works, here are some considerations for you:

Added benefits: A more manageable student loan payment is a big deal, but there are a couple other benefits of IBR. If you make qualifying payments on your loan under Income Based Repayment for 25 years, you may be able to have any remaining balance discharged. Also, if you have a subsidized loan and your IBR payment doesn’t cover the monthly interest your loan accrues, that unpaid interest will be subsidized by the government for up to three consecutive years from when you first enter IBR repayment.

Possible drawbacks: Remember to consider the cons of IBR as well. A reduced payment through IBR usually means you’re taking more time to pay off your loan, which can mean paying more interest over the life of the loan. Borrowers must also submit necessary paperwork each year to continue with IBR. And if you are no longer eligible for IBR, any unpaid interest that has accrued on your loan is capitalized (added to the principal balance) and will be charged interest.

Anyone have additional questions on Income Based Repayment? Leave them here!

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54 Responses to The scoop on Income Based Repayment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Barbara, I used the calculator on your website and it said I qualified for the IBR. I called Wells Fargo and I was told I did not qualify. Can you please clear this up for me?

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Anonymous – did you use the Department of Education’s IBR calculator and compare it with the standard Federal Stafford Loan Repayment calculator on wellsfargo.com? Why don’t you contact us through our Ask the Expert tool so we can get your information and look into the details of your situation?

  2. Jamie says:

    If in a few years I don’t qualify for the program anymore, do I have to pay all of that capitalized interest immediately, or does it get transferred into another repayment plan that I do qualify for? Also, when you say that any unpaid interest that has accrued is capitalized and will be charged interest if you no longer qualify, does that mean I will end up paying a lot more than I would have if I never entered this program?

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Jamie – If you were to exit the program, the interest that’s accrued is added to the principal balance (capitalized). So you wouldn’t have to pay it all off when you moved to a different repayment plan, but it would begin to accrue interest. So you’re paying interest on your interest. There’s a calculator at FinAid that you can use to compare the total amount of interest you’d pay with each plan. Here’s the link: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/ibr.phtml. Generally, because you’re taking more time to pay off your loan, you’ll be paying more interest over time.

  3. Rebekah says:

    I have a loan that is listed on my online Wells Fargo account as “COLLEGIATE” does is type of a loan able to qualify for IBR?

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Rebekah – The Wells Fargo Collegiate loan is a private student loan. Only certain federal student loans are eligible for IBR. The loan you mentioned would not qualify.

  4. Brandon says:

    Hi Barbara. I have a consolidated loan with Wells Fargo and am considering an IBR. If I were ever to choose a different plan or simply not qualify for an IBR after a few years, would my interest rate ever change in adopting a new payment plan or schedule? The IBR application is unclear about this. Thanks for your help.

  5. julie says:

    hi barbara, i am about to graduate school with about $150,000 in loans and i am pretty sure that i will choose IBR as my payment plan. i’m not sure if i will be able to pay this off in 25 years, so i wonder if it is worth paying off the interest accruing while i am in school before it capitalizes, or if i should use that money to start up my business. (especially since i don’t think i’ll be eligible for many loans with how much debt i’m in!)

    thank you so much.

    • Barbara Raus says:

      julie – It sounds like you’re thinking through your options. You’re certainly not required to pay the interest that accrues while you are in school, so if it makes sense for you to use that money elsewhere it’s up to you. Most financial advisors would agree that paying down debt as soon as possible is a good thing, but only you can decide what is right for you. As you think about your repayment plan, be sure to consider all the details of IBR, like what you’ll need to do to qualify and that if you’re no longer eligible the interest you’ve accrued will be capitalized. It may be smart to talk through your situation with a financial advisor.

  6. Liz says:

    Hello – I am currently planning on attending graduate school in the fall, but would leave with a debt over over $100,000. Is this IBR program reliable? Will it definitely be around for the 25 years that I need to pay off this debt? If not then I don’t think that I will be able to afford school. Thanks.

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Hey Liz – Well, there certainly isn’t a guarantee that any aid program will be available in the future. It’s best to make your decision based on what you know you can afford. Based on your comment it sounds like your eventual income isn’t matching up with the costs that you’ll incur to get your degree. So it might make sense for you to look at other options. That could mean choosing a program at a lower cost school, working while you’re attending part-time, using employer tuition reimbursement programs, or finding scholarship or graduate assistantships.

  7. Brandon says:

    Hi Barbara. Thanks for the info. One question I’m not clear on: From what I understand, of I no longer qualify for IBR after a few years, then I will revert back to standard repayment plan, minus the years I spent in IBR. However, since the unpaid interest is capitalized and I am paying on a shorter Standard timeframe, is it possible that my payment would be larger than my Standard payment if I never entered into IBR? I can’t find a clear answer on this. Thanks again for your help!

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Hi Brandon – If your income should increase and you no longer have the financial hardship you can still repay under IBR to take advantage of the other benefits of the program, but your payment amount will be the amount you would have been required to pay under a 10-year Standard Repayment based on the amount of your eligible loans that were outstanding when you began repaying under IBR. Based on that recalculated amount, your repayment period may be longer than 10 years.

  8. Joe says:

    Hi Barbara. My wife owes over $100,000 in student loans and qualifies for IBR. We live in a community property state, meaning that her adjusted gross income on her federal tax return is half our total income (which is substantially higher than her true individual income) when we file as married filing separately. Essentially, her personal adjusted gross income is about $30,000 but her half of our community income is about $50,000. Which adjusted gross income will be used to calculate her IBR payment…her true individual adjusted gross income or her half of our community adjusted gross income? Thanks.

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Hi Joe – In order for one spouse to calculate the IBR payment using his/her own AGI, the married borrowers must file taxes as “married filing separately” (as you and your wife do). However, in community property states, the AGI does take into consideration the income of the borrower’s spouse. The IBR payment would be calculated using that combined AGI, not an amount that takes only one spouse’s income into consideration.

  9. Erica says:

    Hi Barbara. I graduated medical school last year and am almost $200,000 in debt. I am doing my residency now so I currently have all my loans in forebearance. I would like to start making some payments. Would you recommend I start paying my interest that is accruing monthly or that I enter IBR? Thanks.

    • Barbara Raus says:

      Hi Erica – It depends what your repayment strategy is. If you’re looking for relief from your monthly payment obligation, IBR could be a good solution. However, if you want to reduce the total amount of interest that you’ll pay over the life of your loan it’d be smart to pay off the interest that is accruing to avoid that being added to your principal balance when you exit forbearance. You could enter IBR while you are in forbearance and still pay some additional funds toward your loan during forbearance to cover the interest you’re accruing. Remember the pros and cons of IBR as you consider your options.

  10. Brad says:

    Hi, Barbara-
    I’ve been making $22,000/yearly since graduating in May of ’08. The job market has kept me out of the career I would have liked and owe close to $80k in college debt ($40k = federal loans). I’ve recently gotten engaged and my fiancee makes around $43,000/yearly (with $50k in loans). Where does this put me in terms of my ability to get on IBR? And, assuming my pay goes up as the job market improves, what will happen to my situation then? Thanks you for your help!

  11. alicia cousino says:

    I have close to 60,000.00 in student loan debt. I am currently working part time and only making $13.00 an hour. My husband makes $48,000.00 a year. i am crrently seeking full time work in a higher pay rate. Do you think it would be wise to apply for IBR and should I be filing jointly or seperatly in regards to taxes?

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      Alicia – you’d need to weigh the pros and cons IBR payments and of filing taxes jointly or separately. As of July 1, 2010 each of those is an option when you’re considering IBR. If you file jointly the lender will factor in both you and your husband’s federal loan debt and your joint income to calculate your IBR payment amount. Your payment will be proportional to your debt amount. If you don’t want to use your joint income you could file separately. Then the IBR payment would be based on just your Adjusted Gross Income and debt. Best bet is to talk with a tax advisor to better understand the implications of each option.

  12. Sarah says:

    Hello Barbara -
    I am a second yr pediatrics resident who graduated med school 06/2009 with approx $100,000 in loan debt – of which $75,000 is federal debt that, as far as I can tell, I believe would be eligible for IBR (the remainder was an institutional loan through my med school and so I think it counts as “private” and thus is ineligible -?). I have been in repayment on the $75,000 since my grace period ended 12/2009 and currently am on a “graduated” plan paying $520/mo. I initially chose this plan because, next to the standard 10yr repayment (which I can’t afford), it seemed to give me the least total interest paid into the future over the (anticipated) life of the loan. However, I am now wondering if I should switch to IBR. My main motivation for doing so is this concept of the “10 year Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program” as I intend upon working for an academic hospital institution (ie. a qualifying 501(c)(3) organization) in the future. My two main concerns are as follows:

    (1) I have 2 more years of residency, then anticipate 3 years of fellowship. Thus I am certain that for those 5 yrs, I will continue to qualify for IBR. However, I will then earn an attending salary. So let’s say I make $200k right out of fellowship – will I then be disqualified from IBR for “making too much”?! If so, how could I ever potentially reach that 10yr payment point for forgiveness (short of going back and repeating residency – which is likely more painful than life-long debt!)

    (2) According to the calculators on the federal loan website, my total projected payments under my current plan vs IBR are vastly different:
    Current (“graduated”): $115,000
    IBR: $160,000
    Given that my IBR payment calculates out to approx $470/mo, not that different to the $520 I’m currently paying, I’m confused by this disparity. I do understand that the Graduated plan I’m currently on undergoes incremental payment hikes every 2 years (of approx $100 each time) and thus, at some point in the future, I will be paying significantly more than either $470 or $520 (I think the max monthly payment about 16 yrs from now would be $1000 give or take). So I’m PRESUMING (?) that the disparity in totals arises from the fact that the IBR “calculator” assumes a fixed amount of $470 for the life of the loan – hence, more interest, more capitalized interest, more payment total. If that is the case, would I be correct in assuming that if, at some future juncture, I find myself able to pay MORE than the required $470 (let’s say I end up paying that $1000 down the line when I have a higher salary), then that would essentially “make up” some of that gap? I guess my concern is – is there something inherently “bad” (or just some catch I’m missing) about IBR, that would account for eventually paying out > $40,000 more than the Graduated plan, or is it just that the data is calculated assuming a constant lifetime payment of $470 and thus, assuming higher payments down-the-line, I wouldn’t in fact be looking at so great a disparity?

    Sorry that took a lot of words to type!! I hope it makes sense… any input at all that you may have would be appreciated.
    Thanks so much,
    Sarah

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      Hi Sarah – You’ve got your situation correct, but I want to clarify a couple things. You are right that just your federal debt not your institutional loan could qualify for IBR. If you switched to IBR and at some point no longer qualified to have your payments based on your salary (partial financial hardship (PFH) requirements), you could still stay under the program in order to take advantage of the public service loan forgiveness program (PSLFP). If you took that route, and eventually no longer qualified for the income-based (PFH) payment, your payments would then be set based on a10-year standard repayment schedule that is calculated at the time you request IBR. The payment amount is based on your outstanding loan balance at the time you requested IBR. If your loan balance increases during the PFH period (e.g., if scheduled payments are less than the accruing interest), your remaining loan term may be more than 10 years.

      Remember, though, that PSLFP is only available to students with Direct Federal Loans. So if you have federal student loans obtained through a private lender through the Federal Family Education Loan program (FFELP), you’d need to consolidate them into the Direct Loan program through the government to qualify. PSLFP requires that you are employed full-time in a public service job during the time you make the required 120 payments. You’re right that without IBR, there likely won’t be a balance for you to have forgiven through PSLFP after the required 120 payments.

      As to your question on the calculators, I’m wondering if you’re using a different calculator to see how much interest you’re paying over the life of the loan. The one on the federal loan website just let’s you see an estimated payment amount. If you’ve found a different calculator that offers that projection the discrepancy may be because it assumes a steady payment over time based on your current salary rather than taking into consideration that your salary may change and you would no longer qualify for a PFH payment. Or it could have a standard percentage increase to your salary built into the calculation.

      Know that for each repayment plan you’re thinking about you can always pay more than is required, so if you were to have an income-based payment and were able to pay more you could. However, taking that route, you might end up paying off your loans before they would be forgiven. But that also might be the case should your salary increase to the point that you’d need to begin making the standard payment amount required under the IBR plan when you no longer qualify for PFH payments.

  13. Cassie says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I’m about to start repaying my student loans, all qualifying for the IBR program. If I were to choose the standard or graduated payment plan, but later decide to switch to the IBR program, would I be able to do that? Will I be able to apply for the IBR program at any point once I start paying?

    Thanks for your help!

    Cassie

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      Cassie – If you qualify for IBR you can enter the program at any time during repayment. So if you start out paying on a standard repayment schedule and then find that the payments are difficult for you given your income you will be able to apply for IBR at that point.

  14. Loryn says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I just recently began payments with the IBR program for my $60,000 student loan. I’m considering going back for grad. school next spring. I’m wondering, am I able to do that considering these circumstances?? Would another student loan just be added to what I already owe?

    Thanks,
    Loryn

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      Your lender is required to consider all loan balances when computing IBR. If you have subsidized loans, leaving IBR may have interest forgiveness implications. Please talk with your lender to get more details on your specific situation.

  15. April says:

    Barbara,

    I am graduating soon and plan on using the IBR plan to repay my $80,000 in federal student loans but there are a few things that I am confused about. Hopefully you can clear them up for me! I live in a community property state and have a spouse whose income is less than mine. How does that affect my payment amount? If I file married filing seperately do they take our total AGI and half it to get my AGI or do they still consider our whole AGI for my repayment terms? To be more specific, I make $40,000 and my husband makes $30,000. If they take our combined AGI and half it then it comes out to be less than what I make alone, would that be the amount that they use? Also, since this is a community property state do I have to file married filing seperately or can I still file jointly to get the best benefit?

    Thanks for your help in this confusing matter!

    April

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      Hi, April – the Department of Education really doesn’t take community property into account when it comes to IBR. State laws govern community property and IBR is a federal program. That said, the IBR application takes into account the AGI you report on your federal income tax return, and if you file as married, filing separately, it will consider only your income. If you file jointly, though, your total IBR payment, divvied up proportionally between you and your husband’s IBR-eligible loans, would be based upon your joint AGI. If your husband doesn’t have federal loans, your IBR payment would be derived from the joint AGI, not half of it. You’d definitely want to consult your tax consultant for all the details, though, as he or she will know the specific rules in your state, and help talk you weigh the benefits of filing jointly or separately.

  16. Marie says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I just graduated with $140k in debt through federal loans, and I’m trying to decide which repayment plan is correct for me.

    I was wondering if you could shed some light on several areas I’m finding a bit murky about IBR, per the information I’m finding online.

    First, it’s my understanding that should I not qualify for IBR during one of the years I’m on the IBR plan, that my repayments would be at the rate of the Standard Repayment Plan, with no other options. Is this correct? In order to take advantage of alternative repayment options, such as a Graduated plan, I would need to exit IBR. And once I exit IBR (let’s say, after 3 years on the plan) I would now have only 7 years to repay my loans under a graduated plan, correct?

    Second, if i exit IBR, would I still be eligible for alternative repayment options, such as a Graduated or Extended Graduated plan?

    Third, should I make payments for 25 years through the IBR plan, what exactly is forgiven? The principle of the loans, or the interest as well?

    Thank you for such an informative thread. It’s the most helpful information about IBR I’ve managed to find on the internet.

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      Hi Marie – Sorry for the delayed response. If you don’t qualify for IBR during part of your repayment, you would be under the standard repayment unless you chose to exit IBR altogether and take the other steps necessary to move to something else. We’ll get to that in a second. If you did exit IBR, say after the three years you mentioned, you would only have 7 years remaining to pay under another plan if those three years were your first years of repayment. If you were on a repayment plan other than IBR before that, those months would also count against her total allotment of repayment months, leaving you with even less than 7 years to repay. If you were to exit you would be eligible for other repayment options like graduated plan, assuming that your total time on IBR and any preceding plan(s) doesn’t equal or exceed the original maximum repayment term. If it did, you wouldn’t be able to exit IBR at all. However, you first would have to go back on a standard plan, based on the number of repayment months you have not yet used under IBR or any other plan. For example, if you have a Stafford loan and have already used a total of 48 repayment months between your original standard plan and IBR, you would have to go on a standard plan amortized over 72 months. Conversely, if you have a Consolidation loan with an original repayment term of 30 years, you would have to go on a standard plan amortized over 312 months.) Then, you have to make at least one full payment at the newly calculated standard amount before you can move to something like graduated or extended. Right now, you can’t move to the alternate plan immediately or defer or forbear that month and then move to an alternate plan. Just as a note, though, this is one of the issues being evaluated by the Department of Education. Now, about the forgiveness … both your principal and interest would be forgiven, but remember if current IRS rules hold, that total forgiveness amount will be taxable as income for that tax year. Let me know if you need any clarifications.

  17. Andrew says:

    I have a student loan that is from 2002. The problem that I have is that when wells Fargo took over the loan (not by choice) bought out wachovia it is considered a private loan now. I was told by wells Fargo that not only was I not qualified for the IBR that they did not have any fed student loans through their company. My student loan falls under the same rules and regulations as a fed student loan does and this loan well never be forgiven, and it also seems that I can’t even get a IBR. Can anyone help me with any kind of good advice, I am up to date with my loan as of right now.

  18. Rob says:

    Hi Barbara – I am considering IBR. We have a family of 4 (Husband,Wife,Daughter(5yoa)and Daughter(6yoa). My wife stays at home to raise our children. I consolidated in 2004 with an original loan amount of 203,750 at 8.25% (ouch). At this point my monthly payment is $1669.00. I have paid 112,000 since the begining and only 9,000 has been applied to principal. My current balance is 209,000. Last year my AGI was $111,000, due to the economy this years AGI went down to 84,000. I have worked very hard and paid over 112,000 over the last seven years, but I feel as if I am fighting a losing battle here. Do you think IBR is appropriate in this circumstance?

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      Hi Rob – Thanks for your comment. Have you run the numbers on IBR? There is a great calculator at ibrinfo.org to help you see how Income Based Repayment may help your situation. Only you can decide if that’s the right path for your situation, and running the numbers can help you get a better idea of what might be the best option for you.

  19. pj says:

    I have student loan tha I consolidated in 1995. I made payments over 10 yrs until I was laid off from my job and I decided to go back to school in 2003. However, when I graduated I got a surprise, there was over $12,000 of interest accured on the loan which now today the interest is more than the loan. So my payments were so high, I tried paying for the last few years so in 2010, i went under th IBR plan, but this extends the loan even longer. Can I go off the plan and return to the standard plan and receive credit for the time I pay before I went to school and on the IBR plan?

    • Barbara Raus Barbara says:

      PJ – I’d recommend you talk though your situation with your federal student loan servicer. They’ll be able to give you the most accurate details for you to make your decisions around IBR.

  20. Dara says:

    Hi Barbara,
    This blog is very helpful. I’m finishing up med school in a few months and trying to figure out my loans(240k) with an aim towards IBR. Because you’re with Wells Fargo, I’m curious if WF offers options for it’s investment customers,as I currently have investments roughly equal to my loan balance, but I don’t want to exhaust investments to pay off loans. My presumption is IBR makes the most short-term sense for me with residency ahead and there are no other similar options provided by third party lenders.

  21. James says:

    Let me get this straight. Essentially, we get short-term relief in exchange for long-term bondage and eventual tax oppression: Bondage: We must keep our income low to stay in IBR, otherwise, all the interest that accrued will be capitalized and become part of the principal balance as we exti, and we’ll be paying mega-interest on our past accrued interest. Tax oppression: If the forgiven eventual amount after 25 years counts as taxable income for that year, and I was forgiven say $180,000, then for that year I would owe the IRS around $45,000. Hmm. This sure looks good for one entity: the Almighty Federal Government. If this comment is moderated, I understand. But I sure think it’s worth talking about and sharing with others so they can make more informed decisions and understand the risks and fine print. Also please clarify if I’m misunderstanding these “catches”.

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks for your concerns regarding the Income Based Repayment (IBR) option James. I’d recommend that you contact your current federal loan service provider and express your concerns regarding this repayment option. Of, if you prefer, you may also check out the Department of Education’s website at http://www.ed.gov for additional information.

  22. tim says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for all of the information. My situation is between 1995 through 1998 I took out Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans for graduate work. The loans were cosolidated in 2001. In 2004, I took out another set of the same loans for another graduate degree. Everything was consolidated in 2007. My household has 3 individuals with an income of $75,000. I thought I was IBR eligible. I contacted Sallie Mae, and the phone rep said I was not but could not explain. The rep appeared new to the process. Can you see any reason why I should not qualify? Also is there any benefit in using the Department Of Education ombundsman program in resolving these issues?

    • Nancy says:

      Tim, thanks for your question. I’d recommend you talk though your situation with your federal student loan servicer. They’ll be able to give you the most accurate details for you around IBR. Best of luck!

  23. Karissa Asp says:

    B.J.’s suggestion is a great one, but as mentioned it only applies to the federal loans.

  24. Brett says:

    My wife is considering IBR early next year- we are going to file married filing seperate for our 2012 taxes, we have one child, regarding IBR does it matter which one of us claims our child on the taxes?

    • Dana says:

      Hey Brett – thanks for your questions regarding the Income Based Repayment (IBR) option. I’d recommend that you contact your current federal loan service provider regarding this repayment option. Or, if you prefer, you may also check out the Department of Education’s website at http://www.ed.gov for additional information.

  25. Deckard says:

    I have a question about a joint consolidation loan and ibr. My wife and I consolidated our loans jointly about 10 years ago (when such things were allowed). My name is at the top of the loan. My wife and I both individually had about 70k in loans and our joint loan was 140k. It is currently at about 150k owed. I make an agi of 60,000, and my wife (due to health issues) cannot work and has no income. We have one child. In the past we have filed jointly, but when I run the ibr calculator it looks like my ibr amount should be about $400/month if we file jointly (we live in Washington, a community property state). It looks like if we choose to file separately, each tax return will show an agi of 30,000. Assuming the tax liability was similar either way (I believe the only deduction we would lose is the student loan interest deduction), would we have a separate ibr amount for each of us based on the 30,000 (approximately $20/month each)?

    Thank you for your advice.

    • Dana says:

      Hey Deckard -– Income Based Repayment can be complicated so I’d recommend you talk with your current loan servicer to make sure you’re getting the most accurate details / information based on your individual circumstances.

  26. Aida says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I live abroad and have abotu 18 000$ in debt. Now I only make about 5 000 a year. I was considering doing the IBR but am worried that in the logn run I will have to pay lots more. As my income is low now I do though need to do something in order to be able to afford a decent live.

    Thank you for your response.

  27. Jeremy says:

    Does it make me liable for payment on my wife’s IBR if my information is added to the application?

  28. Tara says:

    If I consolidate all my collegiate loans through Wells Fargo, would I be eligible for IBR?

    • studentloandown says:

      Hey Tara-thank you for your interest in consolidating your private student loans; however, private student loans are not eligible for federal student loan programs, such as Income Based Repayment.

  29. Mike says:

    My wife and I have a combined$130K in student loans. We both recently applied and were accepted under the IBR payment program. My portion of the loan debt is $30K. I recently received my new payment schedule which slightly lowered my payments. However, I noticed that the payment schedule is only showing payments calculated for 128 months (a little over 10 years). I currently work for the federal government and would eventually qualify for the PSLF. I was hoping to extend payments out for 15-25 years to lower payments with the hopes of forgiveness after 10 under the PSLF. Can I request to have my loan servicer extend my payments out for a longer length or is that set by the servicer. I can’t find any information on how the IBR loan length is initially calculated. Thank you.

The Student LoanDown

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