This report is part of the SBPC’s Improving & Delivering Relief IDR paper series exploring ways to strengthen the IDR program via affordability, increased enrollment, and increased borrower protections.
This report examines the history of Income-Driven Repayment (IDR), identifies its key founding principles, the ways that policymakers have tried to meet them, and how the current design of the protection has fallen short of achieving its original goals. As a way to relieve the financial burden of student loan debt on borrowers, since 1992, policymakers have created a number of repayment plans, collectively referred to as IDR, that set federal borrowers’ monthly student loan bills at an amount determined by their income rather than their loan balance.
In examining the history of IDR, the report identifies badly needed improvements to IDR and raises questions about its limits as a comprehensive solution to support borrowers. The report concludes that substantial administrative action by policymakers is needed to ensure that borrowers can benefit from IDR as intended.
Read the Report: Driving Down Distress? The Principles & Incomplete History of Income-Driven Repayment
Read the Series Kickoff Blog: Fulfilling the Promise of Income-Driven Repayment
Read more on the SBPC’s work related to income-driven repayment here.