Pay As You Earn


The Pay As You Earn federal student loan repayment plan, also known as “ICR-A,” will become available to eligible Direct Loan borrowers on December 21, 2012. Pay As You Earn will function similarly to the existing Income-Based Repayment plan (IBR) by using factors such as income and family size to determine a borrower’s required monthly payment. However, Pay As You Earn will reduce both

  • the percentage of discretionary income a borrower is required to pay toward student loan debt each month (from 15 percent to 10 percent) and
  • the number of years in repayment it would take a borrower to have the balance of their student loans forgiven (from 25 to 20).


The U.S. Department of Education has set guidelines for which borrowers, loans and careers (if applicable) are eligible for its many repayment plans and for programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Ultimately, the loan servicer will confirm a borrower’s eligibility for any specific repayment plan.

Note: Only Direct Loans are eligible for repayment under Pay As You Earn and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.


SFAE First Year Repayment Calculator – Use this spreadsheet to compare repayment estimates for the first year of repayment under Income-Based Repayment, Pay As You Earn and the Standard 10 year repayment plan. You will need your federal student loan history in order to obtain the most accurate estimates, click here to access your loan history via NSLDS.

Comparing Repayment Plans - Examine the features and requirements of each repayment plan offered by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Pay As You Earn and Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness allows eligible borrowers to seek forgiveness of their remaining student loan debt after making 120 required monthly payments while working in a qualified public service career.

By combining Pay As You Earn and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, eligible borrowers have access to more affordable monthly payments and loan forgiveness as early as 10 years from the start of repayment.


Students who have questions about loan repayment are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Education and Wellness via