Obama Student Loan Forgiveness

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What is Obama Student Loan Forgiveness?

The name “Obama Student Loan Forgiveness” has become synonymous with student loan relief but is actually a nickname for the Pay As You Earn repayment program (PAYE), just one of many federal programs that offer some type of forgiveness. Many people believe that student loan forgiveness is a myth however every year tens of thousands of former students take advantage of programs such as the Pay As You Earn program, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, up front Teacher Loan Forgiveness, Disability Forgiveness Program, the Income Based Reduction (IBR) program and others.

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Will Student Loan Forgiveness Lower my Monthly Payment?

Most Student Loan Forgiveness programs are first by nature repayment programs. They offer reduced monthly payment options through government incentives. Regardless of your loan size and interest rate, these programs are designed to offer an affordable monthly payment based strictly on your income and household size (expenses). Some programs even allow for a $0 monthly payment whereby the government covers portions of the unpaid interest and the rest of the principle and interest can eventually be forgiven.


The Pay As You Earn program is a United States federal student loan repayment program to assist borrowers with their monthly payments. It is also commonly referred to as The Obama Loan Forgiveness Program, and it was the first student debt relief law signed by President Barack Obama. The Obama Loan Forgiveness program is an income sensitive program that was designed to create affordable monthly payments for federal student loan borrowers as well as potential student loan forgiveness over time.

From July 1st 2014, new borrowers of federal student loans may make payments calculated off of 10% of a borrower’s discretionary income. Your discretionary income is defined as the amount by which your adjusted gross income exceeds the poverty line. In the Pay As You Earn program, forgiveness is available after 20 years rather than 25 years for new borrowers that make 240 qualifying payments. The exact terms and conditions vary by program but a 0$ monthly payment in the PAYE program is still considered a qualifying payment. Even though no money is being paid towards the principle of the loan, it is still working towards the forgiveness term unlike a deferment or forbearance that is only a temporary hold on your loans. It is one of the most effective federal student loan forgiveness programs with numerous benefits such as:

  • Capping monthly payments to 10% of discretionary income regardless of loan size or interest.
  • Payments can go all the way down to zero dollars per month ($0) and can possibly stay that way throughout the lifetime of your loan (*income and expenses are re-qualified yearly and payments can be increased).
  • All remaining principle and interest not paid throughout the reduced payment plan can be forgiven after 240 months (20 years) even if nothing has been paid.
  • PAYE can be coupled with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) to shorten the forgiveness period to 120 months (10 Years). Originally the Pay As You Earn program or The Obama Loan Forgiveness program could only be used to pay back and forgive loans generated after October 1st 2007.

On June 9, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an executive order extending the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) repayment program now known as the Revised Pay As You Earn to students that took out their loans before October 2007.

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"Before I came across Student Loan Help Info, I was struggling to pay $273 every month towards my student loans. A friend of mine referred me to this place and I was a little weary at first. The woman I spoke to was very helpful and informative, so I decided to move forward and they helped me get into a $0 monthly payment. Now my student loans are one less thing I worry about."
Roger P.


"Hi! I am Jessica. I graduated in 2010 with all the hope to build a career in teaching. My loans totaled over $40,000. I had a job at the time and didn’t make a lot of money so supporting my two kids wasn’t easy. I started falling behind with my payments and eventually fell into default. Luckily, I found Student Loan Help Info through an online search, and they were able to help get me out of default and into a forgiveness program. I couldn’t be happier!"
Jessica M.


"I have been disabled for quite some time now so I haven’t been able to work and pay my student loans off. I came across this student loan assistance company and the representative was very knowledge. Since I am disabled, I was able to get all of my loans discharged. I am so thankful I made the call."
Mitchell T.

Obama Loan Forgiveness F.A.Q

What is better about the PAYE program versus other forgiveness programs?

The Obama Loan Forgiveness program generally gives you a lower monthly payment because it only considers 10% of your discretionary income instead of 15% like some of the other programs. The forgiveness term is also after 240 months instead of 300 months like other retroactive forgiveness programs.

Is a 0$ payment the same as a deferment or forbearance?

No, a 0$ monthly payment is actually considered a qualifying monthly payment towards the forgiveness term and it reflects positively as an on time payment towards your federal student loans.

Can the PAYE program combine with any other programs?

Yes, The Obama Loan Forgiveness program (PAYE) can be combined with The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF), which gives you an income sensitive payment and cuts the forgiveness term in half from 240 months to 120 months.

What will happen to my loans if I lose my job and can no longer afford my payments?

The PAYE program will always give you a payment you can afford because it is recalculated each year based off of your income and expenses. If you happen to lose your job or see a reduction in income, your monthly payment will drop accordingly.

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