In order to benefit from Public Service Loan Forgiveness, I need to select a payment plan that leaves a balance on year ten. Thus far I've focused on Income Based Repayment, which is a newer option that's fairly straightforward to examine.

But I'd like to really understand how Income Contingent Repayment plans work, to where my spreadsheets can correctly model it based on an individual's situation. The Dept. of Ed site offers this meager quote:

Under the ICR plan you will pay each month the lesser of:

  • the amount you would pay if you repaid your loan in 12 years multiplied by an income percentage factor that varies with your annual income, or
  • 20% of your monthly discretionary income*.

*Monthly discretionary income equals your AGI minus the poverty level for your state of residence and family size, divided by 12.

So what are those "percentage factors"? Does "if you repaid your loan in 12 years" means "same as the standard plan but with 2 more years of amortization?" I realize this sort of thing is difficult to explain, but surely the lenders have legalese somewhere I can spend time deciphering somewhere!

1 Answer 1


This isn't a link to the numbers, but the calculator might help you get a rough idea.

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