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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 7, 2015.
Repay Act of 2015
Amends title IV (Student Assistance) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to carry out a simplified income-driven repayment program for students who become new borrowers of William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (DLs) on or after July 1, 2015.
Sets a student's annual repayment obligation under the program at:
10% of the borrower's discretionary income (gross income that exceeds 150% of the federal poverty level) that is less than $25,000, adjusted for inflation; plus 15% of the borrower's discretionary income that is equal to or greater than $25,000, adjusted for inflation. Directs the Secretary to cancel the outstanding balance on a DL under the repayment program if the borrower:
for 20 years made monthly payments under the program or was in deferment due to economic hardship and had a DL principal balance at the outset of the repayment period that did not exceed a specified amount; or for 25 years made monthly payments under the program or was in deferment due to economic hardship and had a DL principal balance at the outset of the repayment period that exceeded a specified amount. Requires the Secretary to offer borrowers of DLs made on or after July 1, 2015, the following repayment plans: (1) a fixed repayment plan (currently referred to as a standard repayment plan), or (2) a simplified income-driven repayment plan, but this plan is only available to student borrowers. Authorizes the Secretary to provide an alternative repayment plan to a borrower of a DL made on or after July 1, 2015, if the borrower demonstrates that these repayment options do not accommodate the borrower's exceptional circumstances.
Continues to allow borrowers of DLs to accelerate, without penalty, their repayment of such loans.
Makes public service employees who make 120 monthly payments on their DL under a simplified income-driven repayment plan eligible for the public service employee loan forgiveness program.
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from gross income debt the Secretary discharges on a borrower's subsidized Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) or DL due to the borrower's death or disability.
Directs the Secretary to require servicers of FFELs and DLs to: (1) provide borrowers with information regarding their loan repayment options, and (2) offer to enroll borrowers in alternative plans for which they are eligible.
Requires the Comptroller General (GAO) to: (1) study the feasibility of simplifying the process for enrolling in, and verifying annual eligibility for, this Act's simplified income-driven repayment program; and (2) provide recommendations for the efficient administration of income-based repayment programs.