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Income Contingent Repayment Calculator Instructions

The discount rate is used to calculate net present value (constant dollar) figures. We suggest using the U.S. Treasury 30-year bond rate.

Don't forget to include the student in the family size!

The income growth rate is the student's expected annual increases in salary, which typically range from 2% to 6%. Our default rate of 4% differs from the 5% used by the US Department of Education.

Some students, however, know that their salary will be increasing significantly a few years after they graduate. For example, some students intend to accept a low-paying public service job for a few years after graduation, and later switch to a private sector position with a higher salary. Such salary shifts can have an impact on the advisability of using income contingent repayment. Accordingly, such students should complete the "Salary Jump" field in addition to the "Income Growth Rate" field.

The CPI field contains the Consumer Price Index and is used to adjust the Income Percentage Factors each year. There is no need for you to change the value in this field unless you anticipate that the Consumer Price Index will increase at a rate that is different from the rate in recent years.

The Poverty Level Change Rate is used to adjust the HHS Poverty Guidelines each year, in order to try to obtain a more accurate estimate of your payments under ICR. This rate is unrelated to the CPI, since the poverty level depends on a different market basket than the CPI. But it is fairly close to the CPI. If you want to use a fixed poverty level based on the current poverty level, set this rate to 0.0%. Make this rate different from the CPI rate only if you think that the HHS Poverty Guidelines will increase at a rate that is greater or smaller than the CPI.

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