Income Based Repayments for Married Couples

The Income Based Repayment program (also known as IBR) is a federal student loan program that caps student loan payments for those who qualify. For individuals who meet the programs requirements, The Education Department’s Income Based Repayment program (or IBR) will cap monthly payments on federal student loans at 15 percent of the borrower’s income. The Income Based Repayment program applies only to federal student loans; private student loans are excluded from this program.

Though the IBR program has attracted some criticism because of what some consider a complicated process and eligibility requirements, the intentions of The Income Based Repayment program are good. The Income Based Repayment program is designed to keep federal student loan debt manageable for those individuals who do not earn a substantial income. As of July 1st, The IBR program has made some amendments to make the program more accessible to a wider range of individuals, including married couples. Prior to July 1st, only the borrower’s student loan balance was measured against total discretionary household income. Now, married individuals will have the ability to use their combined student loan payments to calculate eligibility, as long as they file their taxes jointly.

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