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How to enroll your federal student loans into an income-driven repayment plan



Have federal student loans? Are you having trouble keeping up with payments? An income-driven repayment (IDR) plan may be a good option for you. Visit our FAQs for more information here.

You can apply for an IDR plan online at https://studentaid.gov/app/ibrInstructions.action. The application process is quick and easy and should take about 10 minutes. Once you log in on-line, you’ll be asked to do the following:

  1. Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request: Click: “I want to enter an income-driven plan.”
  2. Answer yes or no to the question:
  3. Enter information about your family size and marital status, including the number of dependents and whether you want to repay your loans jointly with your spouse.
  4. Verify your income. If you filed taxes in the last two years, then just follow the prompts on the screen to import that information. If you don’t have any income, or receive only untaxed income, you can indicate that on the form and you don’t need to do anything further. If you haven’t paid taxes and have taxable income, you must submit a paper Income-Driven Repayment Plan request with proof of your current income (like a pay stub).
  5. Select your specific Income-Driven Repayment Plan. For information on the available plans, visit this page. The application includes a tool that allows you to see how much you’ll pay each month under each plan. You can also just ask that “my loan holder (servicer) place me on the plan with the lowest monthly payment amount.”
  6. Enter additional personal information, including your address, email, and telephone number.
  7. Certify and electronically the document.

If you apply on-line, you should receive a confirmation e-mail shortly after you submit the application. You should save that email. Then, you should hear whether your application was approved within 60 days. If you do not hear something by that time, you should either contact your loan servicer or the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group at the Department of Education 1-877-557-2575. You can also contact your loan servicer or the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group if you have questions about how to apply, or which plan is right for you. Finally, for individualized help, you can also book an appointment with an advisor at College Now Greater Cleveland. Their website is: https://www.collegenowgc.org/adult-programs-and-services/.

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