The federal government’s Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program for federal student loans has been touted as a way for struggling borrowers to make affordable monthly loan payments based on their earnings. Yet the program, around since 2007, has not been popular with students. Despite rising levels of student debt, only 1.1 million borrowers are enrolled in the current program. The Obama administration is hoping that will soon change with its redesigned program, also known as the “Pay as You Earn” plan. It will reduce the cap on loan payments from 15 percent of the borrower’s income to 10 percent, and accelerate loan forgiveness from 25 years to 20 years.
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