Understanding the Differences: Paye vs Repaye – Which Student Loan Repayment Plan is Right for You?

Paye vs Repaye - Which Student Loan Repayment Plan is Right for You?

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## Introduction to student loan repayment plans

As a recent graduate, one of the biggest concerns you may have is how to repay your student loans. With various repayment plans available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your financial situation. Two popular options to consider are the Paye (Pay As You Earn) and Repaye (Revised Pay As You Earn) plans. In this article, we will provide an in-depth comparison of these two plans to help you make an informed decision.

Overview of Paye and Repaye plans

Both Paye and Repaye are income-driven repayment plans offered by the U.S. Department of Education. These plans are designed to make monthly loan payments more affordable based on your income and family size. Paye was introduced in 2012, while Repaye was introduced in 2015 as an extension of Paye to include more borrowers.

Eligibility requirements for Paye and Repaye

To be eligible for Paye or Repaye, you must have federal student loans that are not in default. Paye has specific eligibility requirements, including being a new borrower as of October 1, 2007, and having received a disbursement of a Direct Loan on or after October 1, 2011. Repaye, on the other hand, has no borrower eligibility requirements and is available to all Direct Loan borrowers.

How Paye and Repaye calculate monthly payments

Both Paye and Repaye use a similar formula to calculate your monthly loan payments. They consider your annual income, family size, and the federal poverty guidelines to determine your discretionary income. Your discretionary income is the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. The monthly payment is generally 10% of your discretionary income for Paye and 10% or 15% for Repaye, depending on when you first borrowed.

Pros and cons of Paye and Repaye plans

Paye and Repaye have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage of both plans is that your monthly payments are based on your income, which can be helpful if you have a lower income or are just starting your career. Paye offers loan forgiveness after 20 years of qualifying payments, while Repaye offers forgiveness after 25 years. However, it’s important to note that forgiven amounts may be taxable as income.

One potential disadvantage of Paye and Repaye is that your monthly payments may not cover the interest that accrues on your loans. This can lead to your loan balance increasing over time, known as negative amortization. Additionally, if you have a high income and a significant loan balance, you may end up paying more in total under an income-driven plan compared to a standard repayment plan.

Differences between Paye and Repaye

While Paye and Repaye are similar in many ways, there are some key differences to consider. Paye is available to new borrowers after October 1, 2007, while Repaye has no borrower eligibility requirements. Repaye also offers an interest subsidy for the first three years if your monthly payment doesn’t cover the interest that accrues on your subsidized loans.

Another difference is the calculation of monthly payments. Paye uses 10% of your discretionary income, while Repaye uses 10% or 15% depending on when you first borrowed. Additionally, Paye has a cap on monthly payments at the standard 10-year repayment amount, while Repaye does not have a cap.

Choosing the right plan for your student loans

When choosing between Paye and Repaye, it’s important to consider your individual financial circumstances. If you are a new borrower after October 1, 2007, and have a lower income, Paye may be a suitable option for you. If you have a higher income or don’t meet the Paye eligibility requirements, Repaye may be a better choice. It’s also important to evaluate the potential loan forgiveness and tax implications of each plan.

Applying for Paye or Repaye

To apply for Paye or Repaye, you will need to submit an income-driven repayment plan request to your loan servicer. This request will require you to provide income documentation, such as tax returns or income statements. It’s important to keep in mind that it may take some time for your application to be processed, so it’s advisable to apply as soon as possible to avoid any delays in obtaining the benefits of an income-driven plan.

Managing your student loan repayment plan

Once you are enrolled in either Paye or Repaye, it’s crucial to stay on top of your loan payments and keep your loan servicer updated with any changes in your income or family size. If your income increases significantly, you may no longer qualify for the income-driven plan and may need to switch to a different repayment plan. It’s also important to track your progress towards loan forgiveness and be aware of any tax implications.


Choosing the right student loan repayment plan can make a significant difference in managing your debt. Paye and Repaye are both income-driven plans that offer flexibility and affordability for borrowers. By understanding the differences between these plans, considering your financial situation, and evaluating the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about which plan is right for you. Remember to regularly review your financial circumstances and stay proactive in managing your student loan repayment plan to ensure a successful journey towards becoming debt-free.

CTA: If you need further guidance on selecting the right student loan repayment plan, consult with your loan servicer or a financial advisor who specializes in student loans. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific situation and help you make the best decision for your financial future.

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