These plans aim to protect borrowers from delinquency, default, and resulting financial consequences by linking payments to income and providing forgiveness after a set repayment period. We estimate the causal effect of IDR payment burdens on loan repayment and schooling outcomes for several cohorts of first-time IDR applicants using a regression discontinuity design. Federal student loan borrowers who are not required to make payments see short-run reductions in delinquency and default risk, but these effects fade or reverse in the longer run as some borrowers become disconnected from the student loan repayment system when not required to make payments.

View the Full Working Paper