Method and apparatus for congestion control in a wireless communication system. Individual target data rate values are assigned individual access terminals. The individual data rates of the access terminals are adjusted to achieve the corresponding individual target data rate values. If the target values are not achieved within a predetermined number of iterations, the individual data rate is adjusted. In one embodiment, the status of a congestion bit indicates the type of adjustment, such as increase or decrease, wherein the status of the congestion bit is determined by comparing a congestion parameter to a predetermined threshold. One embodiment implements an outerloop threshold having a margin with respect to the desired congestion metric threshold. According to one embodiment, a congestion indicator includes multiple bits, wherein at least one bit instructs the mobile station to use target values or else to adjust without regard to a target value.