Since the late 1980s income contingent loans have been adopted in, or recommended for, a significant and growing number of countries. Looking at countries with both successful and unsuccessful schemes, Bruce Chapman shows that the operational and design features of such schemes are of fundamental importance with respect to their potential efficacy. It also seems to be the case that in many institutional and political environments there is not yet the administrative sophistication to make income contingent loans viable, although for reasons documented this is unlikely to be the case for the vast majority of OECD countries. For one country, Australia, there is now a significant amount of research into the consequences of income contingent loans, and the evidence is explored in some detail. The investigation into the Australian experience helps in the development of a research agenda.