If you need to make lower monthly payments, this plan may be for you.
To qualify for IBR, you must have a partial financial hardship. You have a partial financial hardship if the monthly amount you would be required to pay on your IBR-eligible loans under a 10-year Standard Repayment Plan is higher than the monthly amount you would be required to repay under IBR. Your payment amount may increase or decrease each year based on your income and family size. Once you’ve initially qualified for IBR, you may continue to make payments under the plan even if you later no longer have a partial financial hardship. Find out whether you’re eligible.
Follow the link for more info. This only applies to federal loans made directly to the student, not loans taken out by parents or private loans, but hopefully this is a help to someone.
Also check out H.R. 4170 (the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012). It’s currently being reviewed by committee (so it’s not yet up for votes) but still worth a look.