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Best Option for Recent College Graduates to Pay Back Their Federal Student Loans: Pay As You Earn (PAYE)!

One of the advantages of having a federal student loan as opposed to a state sponsored or private one are the income based repayment plans available.  Students struggling to pay large balances of Stafford, Perkins, and/or Graduate PLUS loans, can benefit from an Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan. For more recent graduates, there is a version of IBR called Pay As You Earn (PAYE), which is the best one yet.

However, there are some requirements to consider:

  • You cannot have any student loan balances as of October 1, 2007
  • You must have taken out a federal student loan on or after October 1, 2011
  • It must be to pay for Stafford, Perkins, or Graduate PLUS loans (no Parent PLUS)
  • You must have some sort of partial financial hardship

But what is a financial hardship?  Well, it has to do with your debt-to-income ratio.  In other words, if your monthly loan payment in a standard, 10 year fixed plan is more than 10% of your discretionary income, then you qualify.

PAYE is also better than IBR, in that the financial hardship is determined by whether your monthly payment in a standard, 10 year fixed payment plan is more than 10% of your discretionary income (rather than 15% with IBR).

In addition, any unpaid balance after 20 years is discharged under PAYE; under IBR, it is 25 years.

If you live in New Jersey and are struggling with payment on federal student loan debt, I may be able to be of assistance. Just download this questionnaire, fill it out, and then fax it to me at 856-686-9911 or e-mail it to me. I will then review it to determine if I can be of assistance and contact you to discuss representation.

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