A couple of weeks ago Rodger asked me how many people have actually completed an Income-Based Repayment plan.
I didn’t know the answer so I went and asked the Department of Education and surprisingly they got back to me relatively quickly.
Don’t Be Shocked
As of January 27, 2020, there have been 19 people that have had $573,000 forgiven.
The Department of Education said, “Of the 19, none were in the ICR plan at the time of IDR forgiveness. All were in the REPAYE plan at the time of IDR forgiveness, although they had been on ICR at some point in the past.
Please note that the earliest possible date for loan forgiveness under the Revised Pay As You Earn Plan was December 2015 and the earliest possible date borrowers could receive loan forgiveness under the Income-Contingent Repayment and Income-Based Repayment plans was July 2019; Pay As You Earn is October 2027; and New Income-Based Repayment is July 2034. Some borrowers who had been in ICR since the beginning and who were subject to a shorter, 20-year repayment period in REPAYE (as opposed to 25 years under ICR) were able to switch into REPAYE upon its implementation in December 2015 and become eligible for loan forgiveness immediately. Further, while DLs were disbursed starting in July 1994, the ICR plan wasn’t implemented in our systems until 1995 or 1996. That said, the time a borrower spent in standard repayment during 1994-95 counted toward the 25 years needed for ICR (or ICR-REPAYE) forgiveness. Also, in REPAYE, borrowers with undergrad-only debt can receive forgiveness at 20 years, while borrowers with any graduate/professional debt need to wait the 25 years.”
While millions of student loan debtors are hopeful their loans will eventually be forgiven, there is a little track record to show the program actually does lead to loan forgiveness.