Publication Date: June 17, 2010
Subject: Income-Based Repayment Plan Request and Alternative Documentation of Income Forms
Summary: This letter announces approval of a new Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan Request form and new IBR Plan Alternative Documentation of Income form for use in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the following new forms under OMB Control No. 1845-0102 for use in the FFEL Program:
- Income-Based Repayment Plan Request – serves as the means by which FFEL Program borrowers request the IBR Plan for repayment of their eligible FFEL Program loans and provide their loan holders with information required to determine their eligibility for the IBR Plan and calculate the IBR Plan monthly payment amount.
- Income-Based Repayment Plan Alternative Documentation of Income – serves as the means by which FFEL Program borrowers who have requested the IBR Plan or who are currently repaying under the IBR Plan provide their loan holders with alternative documentation of income for use in determining IBR Plan eligibility and the IBR Plan payment amount, if documentation of a borrower’s adjusted gross income (AGI) is unavailable or if the AGI does not reasonably reflect a borrower’s current income.
Implementation of the New FFEL Program IBR Plan Forms
The attached IBR Plan Request form reflects changes to the definition of “partial financial hardship” in 34 CFR 682.215(a)(4) that were made by final regulations published on October 29, 2009. Program participants may begin distributing the new IBR Plan Request form on July 1, 2010, the effective date of the revised definition. Requests for the IBR Plan made by borrowers using other means that were in place before the new IBR Plan Request form was made available may continue to be processed, but any such request received on or after July 1, 2010 must be evaluated in accordance with the revised definition of “partial financial hardship.”
Program participants may begin distributing the new IBR Plan Alternative Documentation of Income form immediately. However, as noted above, the revised definition of “partial financial hardship” does not take effect until July 1, 2010. Alternative documentation of income for the IBR Plan provided by other means that were in place before the new IBR Alternative Documentation of Income form was made available may continue to be used.
The new IBR Plan Request and IBR Plan Alternative Documentation of Income forms must be made available to borrowers no later than September 1, 2010.
To accommodate imaging technology, the forms instruct the borrower to complete and sign the form in ink. However, a pencil signature does not invalidate a form.
The blank space at the top, bottom, or sides of the forms may be used for bar coding.
The attached forms must be printed with black ink on white paper. The typeface, point size, and general presentation of the forms may not be changed from the versions that were approved by OMB. However, program participants may remove bold type in section headings or may add bold or italic type to the instructions.
Program participants should pre-print the address to which the completed form should be sent, along with appropriate contact information, in the “Where to Send the Completed Loan Discharge Application” section of each form.
Obtaining Copies for Reproduction
The revised forms, in both Microsoft Word and PDF format, are provided as attachments to this letter. The forms will also be available in PDF format on the web site of the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs (NCHELP).
Program participants are responsible for ensuring that the forms used are identical to the forms approved by OMB. No changes may be made to the forms except as expressly authorized above.
Jeff Baker, Director
Policy Liaison and Implementation
Federal Student Aid