New Student Loan Repayment Program Will Lower Your Payments
Great news, everybody. New federal student loan guidelines that go into effect July 1st will help you lower your monthly payments. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education:
The federal government’s new income-based repayment program, which takes effect Wednesday, allows borrowers to repay their loans as a percentage of their income, lowering payments for those with high debt-to-income ratios. Under the plan, which was created as part of the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act, a borrower’s monthly payment will be set at 15 percent of the person’s monthly disposable income. Borrowers who earn less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level will not have to pay anything on their loan debt until their income rises.
The interest rates on student loans are also going to decrease.
Student loan borrowers will also benefit from another change that is to take effect Wednesday, when interest rates in several federal student-loan programs will drop to all-time lows. That will make it more attractive for borrowers to consolidate their debt and lock themselves in at the new variable rates—2.48 percent for Stafford Loans and 3.28 percent for PLUS loans.
To find out if you qualify for the new repayment program and to see what your new payments would look like, log onto the Dept. of Ed’s website to view their repayment calculator.