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The Pay As You Earn plan is a repayment plan with monthly payments that are limited to 10 percent of your discretionary income (the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150 percent of the poverty guideline amount for your state of residence and family size, divided by 12). To initially qualify for the Pay As You Earn plan and to continue to make income-based payments under this plan, you must have a partial financial hardship (and be a new borrower).