This page provides background and links about income-driven repayment for reporters, policymakers, and the general public.
Make it Simple, Keep it Fair: A Proposal to Streamline and Improve Income-Driven Repayment of Federal Student Loans
May 3, 2017 - Report provides practical roadmap for designing an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan that works better for both students and taxpayers. Includes detailed proposal to streamline the multiple IDR plans into one improved plan that caps monthly payments at 10% of income, provides tax-free loan forgiveness after 20 years of payments, and targets benefits to borrowers who need help the most. Also analyzes and illustrates the trade-offs involved in different ways to design IDR and provides additional recommendations to help prevent delinquency and default.
Should All Student Loan Payments Be Income-Driven? Trade-offs and Challenges
April 14, 2014 - This white paper analyzes the potential effects of requiring income-driven repayment for all federal loans as well as relying on paycheck withholding for loan payments, with particular attention to the implications for low-income students and families. TICAS also examines the relevance and evolution of mandatory IDR systems in Australia and the United Kingdom, and the paper includes specific recommendations to streamline and improve student loan repayment options in the United States.
White Paper: Addressing Student Loan Repayment Burdens
February 9, 2006 - This white paper analyzes the U.S. student loan programs' strengths and weaknesses and identifies practical ways to achieve a more rational and effective balance of borrower obligations and protections.
How Does the New REPAYE Plan Compare to Other Income-Driven Plans?
October 27, 2015
Fixes to the Income-Based Repayment program
June 30, 2010
Income-Based Repayment now Available!
July 6, 2009
Tax Consequences of Loan Discharges for Borrowers in Income-Driven Repayment Plans
November 8, 2017 - Document outlining the tax consequences for sample borrowers under income-driven repayment, and calling for loan discharges under IDR plans to be treated as nontaxable income.
Memo Analyzing Proposals for Upcoming Negotiated Rulemaking Session
March 30, 2015 - Memo analyzing aspects of the Department of Education’s draft regulatory language establishing a new income‐driven repayment plan, called the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plan.
Memo on Pay As You Earn Recommendations for Upcoming Negotiated Rulemaking Process
February 18, 2015 - Regulatory recommendations to improve the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) federal student loan repayment plan through the negotiated rulemaking session beginning February 24-26, 2015. These recommendations would increase PAYE access, simplicity and fairness, as well as better target benefits to borrowers who need them the most.
TICAS Proposal to Create One Improved Income-Driven Repayment Plan
August 1, 2013 - Proposal to replace the four existing income-driven plans with one new and improved repayment plan that includes two adjustments to better target benefits to borrowers who need help the most, while capping payments at 10% of a borrower’s income and providing forgiveness after 20 years. Specifically, we propose phasing out the income exclusion for borrowers with high incomes and eliminating the standard-payment cap on monthly payment amounts. Three borrower examples illustrate how the proposed adjustments could affect different types of students.
Proposal for Technical Corrections to IBR and PSLF
November 21, 2008 - This letter was sent to Congressional leaders, and outlines our proposal for making technical corrections to the regulations for Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The corrections would ensure that the programs are as available and accessible as possible, and that the implementation follows the intent of the law that created the programs.
Coalition Comments on Proposed Student Loan Regulations
August 10, 2015 - Comments from TICAS and 22 other organizations representing students, consumers, veterans, and colleges on the Department of Education’s proposed regulations creating a new income-driven repayment plan (REPAYE) and making other changes to federal student loan regulations.
Detailed Comments on Proposed Student Loan Regulations
August 6, 2015 - Detailed comments on the Department of Education’s proposed regulations creating a new income-driven repayment plan (REPAYE) and making other changes to federal student loan regulations.
TICAS Comments on Topics for Negotiated Rulemaking
October 22, 2014 - Comments in response to the September 3, 2014 Federal Register notice soliciting input on topics to be included in the U.S. Department of Education’s upcoming negotiated rulemaking. Key recommendations include: increasing access, targeting, simplicity, and fairness in the Pay as You Earn federal student loan repayment plan; preventing cohort default rate and 90/10 rule manipulation; increasing the efficacy of Participation Rate Index appeals by colleges with low borrowing rates; and ensuring that loans are discharged for defrauded students.
TICAS Comments on the IBR/ICR Plan Request Form
October 9, 2012 - Comments on the draft “Income-Based/Income-Contingent Repayment Plan Request” form, which provides an integrated application process for borrowers seeking loan payments based on their income. Our comments recommend specific improvements to increase the form’s effectiveness.
Coalition Letter to the Department of Education on the Proposed Rules to Improve IBR/ICR/TPD
August 16, 2012 - Letter submitted by a coalition of organizations representing students, teachers, consumers, and civil rights on the proposed rules to improve the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) programs, and simplify the process of discharging student loans in cases of total and permanent disability (TPD).
TICAS Technical Comments on the Proposed Rules to Improve IBR/ICR/TPD
August 16, 2012 - Technical comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2012, on the proposed rules to improve the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) programs, and simplify the process of discharging student loans in cases of total and permanent disability (TPD).
TICAS Comments on the Draft "Alternative Documentation of Income" Form
April 12, 2012 - Comments on the revised “Alternative Documentation of Income” form, which is used by borrowers whose adjusted gross income (AGI) is not available from the IRS or whose most recently reported AGI does not accurately reflect their current income.
IBRinfo.org provides reliable independent information about income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Summary of Income-Driven Repayment Plans
A chart summarizing the existing income-driven repayment plans in the United States.
Ditch Your Debt Gremlin
A two-minute animated introduction to IBR, created to raise awareness about the original program when it first became available in 2009.