Programs that assist federal student loan borrowers include the Income-Based, Pay As You Earn and Income-Contingent Repayment Plans, according to the Student Aid office of the U.S. Department of Education. Borrowers may also be eligible for programs that forgive portions of outstanding loans for teaching and public service.
Income-based plans reduce the monthly required payment based on the borrower’s discretionary income, explains the Student Aid office. Students can use the Repayment Estimator tool at StudentAid.ED.gov to determine their eligibility for these programs, which may reduce their monthly payments to 10, 15 or 20 percent of their discretionary income depending on eligibility.
Full-time teachers with five years of experience can claim up to $17,500 of debt forgiveness, and borrowers with qualifying public service can claim forgiveness of the balance of the loan after 120 consecutive payments, according to the Student Aid office.