Student loans can be a huge burden.
Not only can they be a strain on your financial budget, but they can also cause a fair amount of emotional distress! This usually comes from the fact that student loans are rarely discharged in bankruptcy– they’re with you forever!
Well not FOREVER. But it’s easier to get out of a mortgage (even a loan for a luxury car) than it is to to discharge a student loan.
Gosh, can’t a poor graduate get a break? Those payments can be pretty debilitating if you aren’t making the big salaries many thought were guaranteed with a college degree.
Well, there is some good news here!
I know a lot of people struggle just to make their interest-only payments. If that’s you, there’s another repayment plan you might want to consider- the Income-Based Repayment Plan.
This repayment plan could be a huge help to you if your income is low and your payments are higher than you can afford. To get an estimate of how this plan could affect you just type “income-based repayment calculator” into your search engine. In just a few minutes, you should be able to tell how this plan could help bring you some relief! Your payments could be A LOT less under this repayment option.
Once you are registered on the plan, your payments will be more proportional to the amount you are earning. Depending on whether your loans are subsidized, un-subsidized or a mix of the two, the government may cover any remaining interest that isn’t covered by your new, lower income-based payments. (And that’s good news if you’re struggling!)
One thing to keep in mind: You need to reapply for the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan every 12 months.
To get set up on the IBR plan, you should contact your lender either online or by phone. Most lenders have commonly-needed forms available online for you to print off. If you’re not confident, give your lender a call! They’ll point you in the right direction and will probably be able to answer any questions you have. It’s easier than you might think!
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