NEW YORK (MainStreet) The federal government is partnering with Intuit Inc., makers of Turbo Tax, to help publicize and raise the consciousness of student loan borrowers about repayment options.
The U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Intuit Inc. announced January 24 that they will work together to make consumers more knowledgeable about income-driven repayment plans. These permit borrowers to repay their student loans using a sliding income scale. Monthly payments will be adjusted in relation to income and family size.
During tax filing season, roughly from February 1 to April 15, Intuit will feature a banner in its TurboTax Online tax preparation software announcing options for repaying federal student loans. The banner will link to the Department of Education's (ED) online Repayment Estimator, where people can determine if they qualify for an income-driven repayment plan. They can also sign up for an income-driven or other repayment plan.
Both the Treasury Department and Education Department will have a message on the back of tax refund checks envelopes about federal student loan repayment options. Approximately 25 million of these envelopes will be mailed to tax filers in the 2014 tax season, according to the ED.
Since 2009, federal student loan borrowers not in default have been able to enroll in modified repayment plans. These plans cap their monthly payments as a percentage of their current discretionary income if their payments are made on time. They can also extend the repayments terms to 20 or 25 years with a write-off provision at the end of the repayment period.