* For the purposes of this table, the term “direct loans” refers to all types of direct loans, including subsidized direct loans, unsubsidized direct loans, direct loans PLUS and consolidated direct loans.

* FFELs may be eligible for REPAY, PAYE and ICR if first consolidated into direct loans. Federal Perkins loans may be eligible for all IDR plans if consolidated into direct loans. In most cases, loans granted to parents are only eligible for the ICR. To see the Federal Student Aid website for all the details.

The IBR plan has been the most popular IDR plan due to its simplicity and the flexibility it gives borrowers to decide which loans will be included. The REPAYE plan may become more popular as borrowers learn more about it. It has broader eligibility and lower monthly payments. However, each IDR plan has several advantages and disadvantages, and all factors must be considered to determine which plan is the right one.

Below is a comparison table showing the estimated payments due under each IDR compared to the payments due under a standard 10-year student loan. Note the substantial reduction in the monthly payment as well as the increase in the repayment period.

Total student loan debt balance: $30,000

Interest rate: 6.8%

Adjusted gross income: $20,000

Family size: 1