There is a new federal program, the Pay as You Earn Repayment Plan, which gives relief to college graduates who have student loan repayments. It is available for those who qualify. One qualification is that graduates have federal direct student loans. For students who do not, some may be able to consolidate other federal loans into a direct loan to take advantage of the program. They will have to meet other requirements first, however.
The new plan bases payments on what a graduate earns. The plan looks at the discretionary income of the graduate, income based on salary monies that are above what is needed for essential living. This calculation is based on government formulas. Students then pay 10% of that discretionary income amount monthly on their loans. Borrowers who make regular payments may have the balance of their college loans forgiven after 20 years. Those graduates who have public service jobs might even be able to evoke loan forgiveness after just 10 years of regular payment. These monthly payments do vary each year, going up or down, depending on changes in salaries and family size.
To find out if you qualify for this repayment plan, check the U.S. Department of Education’s Pay as you Earn calculator at studentaid.gov.