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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.
As a borrowers income rises the income-based repayment cap will also go up. If the income-based repayment cap reaches a level higher than what a borrowers monthly payment would be under a standard 10-year student loan repayment plan the borrower will no longer qualify for income-based repayment for her or his student loans. Borrowers whose adjusted gross income falls below 150 percent of the poverty threshold wont be required to make any payments on those student loans that qualify for income-based repayment. Even if no payments are due however interest will continue to accrue on those college loans . Unpaid interest will also accrue if a borrowers income-based monthly payments arent sufficient to cover the full monthly interest on the qualifying college loans.
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2) Work with the lender to ensure that you receive duplicate copies of monthly statements and periodically check your credit report to make sure your credit is still in good standing. Also bear in mind that being a co-signer on an outstanding loan may reduce your overall creditworthiness since the loan debt will be viewed as a liability. 3) If your primary borrower communicates to you that s/he is having difficulty making the monthly loan payments contact the lender immediately. For federal college loans ask about your loan deferment and forbearance options. Private student loans generally dont offer the same deferment and forbearance benefits as federal student loans but some private student loan lenders may be willing to discuss a deferred payment arrangement or alternative payment plan.