In an effort to provide relief, or student loan help, and some hope to students and graduates alike, the government has instituted a new program that will be available this fall. Beginning July 1, actually, a new income based repayment program will be available. If you qualify, you can request that your payments total no less than 15% of your income.

For those who qualify, the average payment will be 15% of the difference between the base budget allowance and their current income. Then again, you may not have to pay anything if you fall within the one and half times the poverty level.

If you are in a public service job, after 10 years of paying on your loans through the income based program, the rest of your debt will be erased. For those who are not in public service jobs but stay current on the income base payments for 25 years will have their debt forgiven as well.

Most lenders have offered income based repayment for years but don’t mistake this for the government program now in place. Make sure to only apply for federal loans in order to take full advantage of the program. When you are looking into obtaining student loans, make sure to comparison shop. Contact your lender to apply for the program if you are no longer attending school.

If you are in a public service job, make sure to consolidate your loans and then apply for the program. Private lenders will not offer this program to you. You will need to keep records of your payments and the like so that at the end of the 10 year period, you can apply for the forgiveness portion of the loan program. You are going to have to provide proof that you followed all the rules in order for your loan to be forgiven.

There are a few things that you should be aware of with this program. If your monthly payments are so low that they don’t cover the interest, the amount of your loan will continue to grow until you qualify to have it forgiven. Taxes may have to be paid on the forgiven amount unless you work in the public service arena. If your student loans are in default, you will not qualify.

There are several types of loans that the program does not cover. These loans include private, alternative or signature loans. Parent loans are not covered either.

If your monthly student loan payments total less than 15% of your income, you will not qualify for the program.

Congress is being lobbied by several groups at this time to make changes to the loan program. Congress is considering modifying the law in regards to the program. If you cannot apply for the program at this time, there is a chance that in the future you will be able to.

Student loan refinancing may be the best option for you. Get the help you need to refinance student loans at

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