March 2014 | Financial Aid

Income-Based Repayment

There are multiple loan repayment programs based on income.  The two main plans have been Income-Based Repayment (IBR) and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR). Both IBR and ICR provide affordable monthly payment amounts. Under both plans, any remaining loan balance is forgiven after 25 years, and payments made can count toward the 120 payments required for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

There are important differences between IBR and ICR. IBR applies to both the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) and the Federal Direct Loan Program, while ICR is only available for Federal Direct Loans. IBR does not apply to PLUS Loans or consolidation loans that include PLUS loans, while ICR does include Direct PLUS loans that are part of a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan.

As of December 21, 2012, eligible borrowers of federal student loans may enroll in the new “Pay as You Earn” program. The new income-based repayment plan caps monthly loan payments at 10 percent of a borrower’s discretionary income. After 20 years of payments, the government will forgive the loans. (The Education Department’s older income-based repayment program currently caps monthly loan payments at 15 percent of discretionary income, with loan forgiveness after 25 years.) The new program will accept enrollees who were new borrowers after October 1, 2007, and who also took out a loan on or after October 1, 2011.

For more detailed information about the multiple federal student loan repayment options, please visit the following sites:

Federal Student Aid Understanding Repayment

Federal Student Aid Repayment Plans

Federal Student Aid Repayment Estimator

Student Loan Consolidation

With the change from Federal Stafford Loans through multiple lenders to Federal Direct Loans through the U.S. Department of Education, some borrowers are considering loan consolidation. For more information, visit the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan website.

Navy Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program

The Navy Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program offers up to $85,000 to complete your degree. Your service obligation can be fulfilled in four years. To be eligible, you must have completed 30 semester hours, have at least a 2.7 GPA, be younger than 34 years old, and meet the Navy’s physical requirements. For more information, call 800-USA-NAVY.

The North Carolina Hispanic College Fund

The North Carolina Hispanic College Fund awards annual scholarships worth between $500 and $2,500. Scholarships recipients are recent graduates of North Carolina high schools who are of Hispanic/Latino background. Recipients of a NC Hispanic College Fund scholarship must enroll in a degree program at a community college or a 2- or 4-year college/university and be committed to public service and community development. NC Prospective Teacher Scholarship Loan Program

Students who are pursuing college degrees to become teachers in the public schools of North Carolina may apply for $2,500 per year. One year of service as a full time teacher in the State’s public schools cancels one year of funding support received.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Applicants must meet all of the following five requirements to apply for a scholarship through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund:

  • Be of Hispanic Heritage: persons descended from Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central American (excluding Belize), South American (excluding Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana), or other Spanish cultures
  • Be a US citizen OR legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551
  • Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent)
  • Be pursuing or plan to pursue your first undergraduate or graduate degree
  • Must apply for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)