I don't have any more than 1x est. first year salary, but 3x salary for 30k vs. 90k isn't fair. Someone making $30k isn't going to have much of anything to pay student loans with after rent/food/clothing/etc. Someone at 90k is going to have money to pay the loans. Are they going to be living the good life....not for awhile, but they could likely pay the money back. 90K in student loans on 30k is never going to be paid back...that is like 20% of your salary a year in interest when close to 100% of take home pay is needed to actually live. If you need $2k a month to live, then you are basically not make the payment at $30k salary with $90k in debt. If you need $2k a month to live, then you can make say $3,107.17 a month payment on your $270k in debt @6.8% for 10 years.