My income recently changed, and I can't seem to keep up with my federal student loan payment. Can I reduce the amount?
You've always been able to choose among a few repayment plans when it comes to federal student loans, and the options can vary your monthly payment amount significantly.
But on July 1, 2009, a new repayment option was introduced, called income-based repayment. This option basically caps your monthly payment based on income. Anything you earn above one and a half times the federal poverty level for your family size is considered discretionary income, and your monthly payment will be 15 percent of that amount. Even better, after 25 years of repayment, any remaining balance is forgiven.
To figure out if you qualify, and what your monthly payment would be, use the calculator on


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