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Many student loan borrowers who could qualify for the federal government's income-based repayment plans do not participate in them, and the Education Department has not done enough to make borrowers aware of their repayment options, the Government Accountability Office said in a report Thursday.

The Obama administration has worked hard in recent months to bolster the number of borrowers in its income-based repayment programs, which it has expanded and heavily promoted, and it reported some success last month. But the GAO report, which was requested by some Democratic members of Congress, said that fewer than one in seven holders of direct student loans were paying them back based on their income levels, while more than half were eligible for the programs that would allow them to do so.