Many student loan borrowers who stand to benefit the most from income-driven repayment plans are the least likely to know about them, according to a report from New America. But when these borrowers do know about IDR, they are the most likely to enroll, the report states.

As the U.S. Department of Education rolls out its new IDR plan and other opt-in initiatives, it will need to automate access, adapt materials to reach vulnerable populations, engage in widespread outreach with trusted partners, and provide strong oversight of its contractors, according to the report. But large-scale communication efforts are expensive, and the Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), which oversees these programs, has never had so much to do with so few resources to go around.

Ultimately, ensuring that the most vulnerable borrowers are able to access repayment relief must involve action from the Department and its contractors, funding from Congress, and engagement from the higher education community, the report says.

Read Best Laid (Repayment) Plans at NewAmerica.

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