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.

Your monthly payment amount on IBR is calculated using your adjusted gross income, family size, and total indebtedness. Under an IBR plan, your loans may be eligible for forgiveness after you make the equivalent of 20 or 25 (depending on your loan terms) years of qualifying payments (please note that your term may be longer than 25 years if you defer payments at any time). Each year your loans are on the IBR Plan, you will be asked to renew and recalculate your monthly payment amount by submitting your current 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 documentation of your income:
    1. If you filed federal income taxes within the last year: Provide copies of your federal tax form (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040X, or 8879) filed within the last year. Please note that we are unable to accept, profit and loss statements, the e-File cover letter, or state tax documents.
      1. If you are married, filing jointly, would like to include your spouse’s information, and you meet the criteria noted in Section 3 of the application, complete Section 3 and have your spouse sign and date the form in Section 6.
    2. If you didn’t file federal taxes last year, or your tax documents no longer accurately reflect your income:
      1. And you have taxable income,
        1. Please complete Section 5 and answer “Yes” in Question 10. Be sure to sign the form.
        2. You must supply one piece of documentation to support each source of income and write the pay frequency on the documentation. Acceptable sources of taxable income include but are not limited to pay stubs, letters from employers listing pay, bank statements, dividend statements, unemployment income, interest income, tips, and alimony. Please note that we must use your gross pay to calculate your monthly payment amount.
      2. And you don’t have taxable income:
        1. Please complete Section 5 and answer “No” in Question 10. Be sure to sign the form.
      3. If you are married and filing jointly, answer Question 11 in Section 5. Include the required documentation noted in Question 11 and have your spouse sign the application.
  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.

If you would like to submit documentation for annual renewal of your income-driven repayment plan or request that we recalculate your monthly payment amount if your financial circumstances have changed, click here.