Student loans can be forgiven at a reduced rate if you use a repayment plan to pay off the principal, according to a new survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The survey, which polled more than 2,000 student loan borrowers, found that people with higher incomes were the most likely to take advantage of refinancing.
Only 6% of students with incomes under $40,000 said they used repayment plans to repay their loans, compared with nearly 6% for those with incomes of $60,000 or more.
The survey was conducted in early May and included responses from more than 6,000 borrowers, with nearly 5,000 of them using a repayment loan.
The survey also included responses for people with incomes up to $75,000.
“The vast majority of borrowers who have refinanced do so because they have seen an immediate increase in their income and, consequently, want to maintain their ability to pay back their loans,” the Fed survey said.
“But a majority of these borrowers may be able to pay for their education with a reduced income or a reduced loan amount.”
The survey found that the average repayment loan amount is now $18,500.
A person who had to borrow $40 to save for college would pay off $30 in the first year of repayment, but would then have to repay $8,000 in the second year, and so on.
The Fed survey also found that most people who refinanced their loans had used a repayment credit card or prepaid debit card, rather than a traditional bank account.
The study found that 26% of borrowers with a loan balance of $10,000 to $50,000 used a credit card, and 26% used prepaid debit cards.
The median annual income for borrowers with loans of $40-60,800 was $49,000, compared to $46,000 for those who had loans of more than $60.
The survey also asked borrowers about their plans to pay their loan, and many said they had started to work on their payment plans.
Some 30% of people with a total outstanding balance of at least $5,000 who said they were paying off their loans said they planned to work with their lender on a repayment payment plan.
More than half of people who said their plan was to refinance said they would not change repayment plans or increase payments.
About one in three borrowers who had paid off their loan said they will keep paying off the loan until the loan is paid off.
About 3% of the respondents said they plan to make a payment on their loan and repay their loan.
About 6% said they did not plan to change repayment plan.
The number of people in repayment plans who are also looking for other repayment plans is rising as more borrowers opt for lower monthly payments.
The Survey of Consumer Finances said that the share of people whose plans are to refinance is at its highest level in more than 20 years.