Income-Based Repayment

Repayment Plan Eligibility and Application Information:

About the Plan

The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan was proposed as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 and became available on July 1, 2009. This program helps make student loan payments more affordable.

IBR is available for most Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) loans. Private loans, Federal Parent PLUS Loans, defaulted loans, and Federal Consolidation Loans containing prior Federal Parent PLUS Loans are not eligible.

IBR caps monthly payments at 15% of your discretionary income (or, if married filing jointly, 15% of your combined discretionary income). Under an IBR plan, your loans may be eligible for forgiveness after you make the equivalent of 25 years of qualifying payments (please note that your term may be longer than 25 years if you defer payments at any time). You must have a partial financial hardship (PFH) to qualify for this plan. The PFH period lasts for 12 months and must be renewed annually by submitting updated income documentation and family size.

To calculate your estimated monthly payment on IBR, click here.

How to Apply

Apply online

Apply online for IBR at StudentLoans.gov.

Apply by mail

  1. Download and complete this form (Imprimir la versión en Español.).
    Note: When applying for IBR, you must include a copy of your federal tax return (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040X, or 8879 tax forms) showing the listed Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). If you did not file taxes in the last year or your AGI on your tax return doesn’t accurately reflect your current income, please be sure to complete Sections 4 and 5 of the form.
  2. Sign your form and return it with your income documentation to:
    Nelnet
    P.O. Box 82565
    Lincoln, NE 68501-2565
    Fax: 866.545.9196

Considerations

When completing your application, carefully consider Section 2. If you are certain you want IBR, check the designated box. (Also consider Income-Contingent Repayment or Pay As You Earn Repayment.) If you want lower payments, but aren’t sure which repayment plan is right for you, check the final box in Section 2, Question 1a. When you select this option, we’ll calculate your payments on each income-driven plan, and after determining you are eligible, put your account on the repayment plan with the lowest monthly payment amount.