Student Loans: Making Them More Affordable

Last Updated May 15, 2011 11:38 PM EDT

About two-thirds of this year's crop of college graduates will be leaving their campuses with student debt.
This is not good news for the grads, who face an unwelcoming job market. The unemployment rate for new college graduates is higher than the general population. And by one estimate, 40% of young college grads, who are employed, possess jobs that don't require a degree.

College grads who end up working at the mall - or worse - should check out a two-year-old federal program that goes by the clunky name of Income Based Repayment or IBR.

Making Student Debt More Affordable

Essentially, IBR allows qualified borrowers to repay based on what they can afford rather than what they owe.

As you can see from the chart below, a person earning $15,000 or less would make no payments no matter how much student debt he or she had racked up. Someone earning $30,000 would owe $172 a month.

Only debtors with federal student loans, not private ones, can qualify for IBR.


You can learn much more about this college debt program by visiting IBRinfo.org and FinAid.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and she also writes her own college blog at The College Solution.

More on CBS MoneyWatch:

10 Dumb Reasons to Pick a College
4 Best Credit Cards for College Grads
IBR image by Jason Bache. CC 2.0.

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