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Pay As You Earn Repayment

Repayment Plan Eligibility and Application Information:

About the Plan

The Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan helps make student loan payments more affordable.

This repayment plan caps monthly payments at 10% of the discretionary income or, if married and filing a joint federal income tax return, 10% of your combined discretionary income. Under the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan, your remaining student loan balance will be forgiven after you have made the equivalent of 20 years of qualifying payments (please note that your term may be longer than 20 years if you defer payments at any time).

You must have at least one eligible Department of Education-owned Direct Loan (your account number starts with an E) that had a disbursement on or after October 1, 2011, to be eligible for the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan. If you had any student loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2007, that had an active balance as of October 1, 2007, you are not eligible for this plan. Other loans not eligible include: defaulted loans, private loans, Federal Perkins Loans, FFELP Loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans that repaid Direct or Federal Parent PLUS Loans or loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2007.

How to Apply Online

To expedite the application process, apply online by logging in to and clicking Complete Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request.

You can securely transfer your federal tax return information to us at Sending your tax information online may expedite our review of your income-driven repayment plan request.

Apply by Email, Fax, or Mail

If you would rather not apply online, review this document (Imprimir la versión en Español). Then download the application via the link in the document, and select this reason in Section 2, Question 1: I am not in an income-driven repayment plan, but want to enter one.

Be sure to sign and date your paper application (pages 1-4 are required), then return it with your income documentation to Nelnet. Email to, fax to 866.545.9196, or mail to:

Attn: Enrollment Processing
P.O. Box 82565
Lincoln, NE 68501-2565

How to Submit Your Annual Recertification

If your loans are already on the PAYE Plan and you are submitting income documentation for your annual recertification, in Section 2, Question 1, choose the option: I am already in an income-driven repayment plan and am submitting documentation for the annual recalculation of my payment.

How to Request Recalculation of Your Payment Amount

If you wish to have your regular monthly payment amount on PAYE recalculated because your income or family size recently changed, in Section 2, Question 1, select the option: I am already in an income-driven repayment plan and am submitting documentation early because I want my loan holder to recalculate my payment immediately.

Processing Your Request

Once we’ve received your complete application and income documentation, we will review your request. If you do not qualify for the income-driven repayment plan you selected, we will apply the plan that best fits your financial needs based upon lowest payment and qualifying forgiveness term. We will send you a letter within 15 business days with the outcome of our review.

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