Minimum Student Loan Payment
For borrowers who are on the governments income-based repayment plan any outstanding federal college loans can be discharged prior to full repayment if the borrower has made her or his monthly loan payments for 25 years. Borrowers who go to work for the government or the public sector can have their federal college loans forgiven after 10 years. Federal college loans can also be forgiven in the event the borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled. Non-federal private student loans on the other hand arent required to offer any of these payment-deferment or discharge provisions. It is at the lenders discretion whether to offer a struggling borrower deferred or lower monthly loan payments and even whether to discharge the private student loan upon the borrowers death or permanent disability.
Any accrued unpaid interest will be added to the student loan principal and capitalized when the borrower no longer qualifies for income-based repayment. Subsidized Interest and Student Loan Forgiveness For those borrowers who hold subsidized student loans or a federal consolidation loan that included subsidized Stafford loans or Perkins loans the government will cover any unpaid interest on those subsidized loans (or on that portion of a student loan consolidation thats comprised of subsidized loans) for the first three years that a borrower is in income-based repayment. The longest that a borrower can remain on the income-based repayment plan is 25 years. After 25 years of income-based payments the government will forgive any remaining principal and unpaid interest - although borrowers should note that under current tax law this forgiven student loan debt would be taxable.
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Other college loans are ineligible: Private student loans. The income-based repayment program applies only to federal student loans. If youre having problems meeting the monthly payments on your private student loans you should contact the lenders to see if theyre willing to work out more affordable repayment plans for you. Keep in mind though that private student loans typically have less flexible repayment options than federal student loans. Federal PLUS loans. If your parents took out PLUS parent loans to help you pay for college they wont be able to take advantage of income-based repayment on their PLUS loans. Consolidation loans that included PLUS parent loans are also excluded from income-based repayment. Any Grad PLUS loans you took out as a graduate student however as well as consolidations of Grad PLUS loans are eligible.
With the unemployment rate soaring toward 10 percent and the average starting salary for college graduates down 2.2 percent this year student loan borrowers - whose average debt from student loans tops $22000 - are now having an even tougher time affording their student loan payments. The good news? Starting July 1 2009 graduates with federal college loans may be able to qualify for a new government program that can reduce the monthly payments on their student loans based on their income. Income-Based Repayment for Federal Student Loans The income-based repayment program created by Congress in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act will cap a borrowers monthly student loan payments at a percentage of her or his income when the borrowers income is at least 50 percent higher than the current federal poverty line for the borrowers family size.