Author Topic: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??  (Read 2320 times)

MrGville

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 117
  • Age: 29
Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« on: February 13, 2017, 02:27:36 PM »
My wife and I are currently paying off her student loans.  We got married at the end of 2016, so she has asked the organization handling her loans how to update her income to the income based repayment plan.  She was told that she does not have to update her income.  This seemed odd to us, and we are not sure if its true.

My wife works for an employer that qualifies her to have her loans forgiven after 10 years of employment.  She has worked there for 4 years and loves her job, so we are anticipating the loans to be forgiven after 10 years.  So...if we assume the remaining balance will be forgiven after 10 years, we would want to pay as little as possible during that 10 year period.  If we dont have to provided updated family income numbers, then she her "income-based" monthly payment will not change over the 10 years. 

I dont trust the information that was provided during my wife's phone conversation with the loan provider.  When she graduated from college, they told her that her "income-based" monthly payment was only $16 even though she was earning $35,000 per year at her new job and had roughly $30k in loans. 

I apologize if i rambled in this post, but want to know if anyone updates their income information for student loan payments.

PepperPeter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 02:48:36 PM »
Yes, DH has to certify his income every year for his IBR loan (provide copy of tax return) and his new payment is calculated annually.  We file married filing separately.

MrGville

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 117
  • Age: 29
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 02:53:24 PM »
Yes, DH has to certify his income every year for his IBR loan (provide copy of tax return) and his new payment is calculated annually.  We file married filing separately.

Thanks!  Yes, that is how I assumed it worked...providing proof of income every year.  I wouldn't think it would differ from loan provider to loan provider, but I will ask my wife to follow up with her provider to see if she gets the same answer.

Miss Piggy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1321
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 05:45:11 PM »
My wife works for an employer that qualifies her to have her loans forgiven after 10 years of employment.  She has worked there for 4 years and loves her job, so we are anticipating the loans to be forgiven after 10 years.  So...if we assume the remaining balance will be forgiven after 10 years, we would want to pay as little as possible during that 10 year period.  If we dont have to provided updated family income numbers, then she her "income-based" monthly payment will not change over the 10 years. 

If you're talking about the government program I'm familiar with (vaguely), then is she formally "enrolled" in the program? It's not automatic...she would have to apply for the program. And the 10 year clock starts after she's accepted to the program, unfortunately.

SimpleCycle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 904
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 06:07:37 PM »
My wife works for an employer that qualifies her to have her loans forgiven after 10 years of employment.  She has worked there for 4 years and loves her job, so we are anticipating the loans to be forgiven after 10 years.  So...if we assume the remaining balance will be forgiven after 10 years, we would want to pay as little as possible during that 10 year period.  If we dont have to provided updated family income numbers, then she her "income-based" monthly payment will not change over the 10 years. 

If you're talking about the government program I'm familiar with (vaguely), then is she formally "enrolled" in the program? It's not automatic...she would have to apply for the program. And the 10 year clock starts after she's accepted to the program, unfortunately.

That's not exactly true.  For public service loan forgiveness, the 10 year clock runs for any time you are on an eligible repayment plan and working at an eligible employer, whether you have the PSLF paperwork filed or not.  It may be different for other forgiveness programs.

thingamabobs

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 145
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 12:08:45 AM »
It's based on the time of year she applied to the repayment plan. It does not reset by calendar year. She has to file for it annually and next time she does it will likely be with this year's taxes so the new status and income wil reflect then.

ringer707

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 06:23:46 AM »
Just chiming in to second what previous posters have said. I am also on the public service loan forgiveness track. I am on the PAYE payment plan, which qualifies as income based repayment. My husband and I file our taxes separately so that my payment is lower (it's $500 more each month with his income included). She does not need to be enrolled in PSLF from her first payment, she just has to certify the payments through a form. If Fed Loan Servicing (sometimes known as Pennsylvania Higher Ed) is not her servicer, then she is not enrolled. Once she submits the PSLF form, she will be automatically transferred to Fed Loan Servicing. I certify my income once a year as well, and they usually send a reminder e-mail on that. While it asks for my husband's student loans (if any), it does not require proof of his income or anything like that if we have filed separately. The only time I've had to use his income for anything in relation to my student loans was when I was doing the student loan payment calculator on the department of education website.

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2017, 10:47:33 AM »
Just chiming in to second what previous posters have said. I am also on the public service loan forgiveness track. I am on the PAYE payment plan, which qualifies as income based repayment. My husband and I file our taxes separately so that my payment is lower (it's $500 more each month with his income included). She does not need to be enrolled in PSLF from her first payment, she just has to certify the payments through a form. If Fed Loan Servicing (sometimes known as Pennsylvania Higher Ed) is not her servicer, then she is not enrolled. Once she submits the PSLF form, she will be automatically transferred to Fed Loan Servicing. I certify my income once a year as well, and they usually send a reminder e-mail on that. While it asks for my husband's student loans (if any), it does not require proof of his income or anything like that if we have filed separately. The only time I've had to use his income for anything in relation to my student loans was when I was doing the student loan payment calculator on the department of education website.

I don't think this is accurate. Where did you get the info?

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1731
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2017, 11:43:43 AM »
Just chiming in to second what previous posters have said. I am also on the public service loan forgiveness track. I am on the PAYE payment plan, which qualifies as income based repayment. My husband and I file our taxes separately so that my payment is lower (it's $500 more each month with his income included). She does not need to be enrolled in PSLF from her first payment, she just has to certify the payments through a form. If Fed Loan Servicing (sometimes known as Pennsylvania Higher Ed) is not her servicer, then she is not enrolled. Once she submits the PSLF form, she will be automatically transferred to Fed Loan Servicing. I certify my income once a year as well, and they usually send a reminder e-mail on that. While it asks for my husband's student loans (if any), it does not require proof of his income or anything like that if we have filed separately. The only time I've had to use his income for anything in relation to my student loans was when I was doing the student loan payment calculator on the department of education website.

I don't think this is accurate. Where did you get the info?

I am also on track for PSLF and as of today I have 4 years left to go.  My loans are serviced by Fed Loan Servicing.  This company was appointed the sole loan servicer for borrowers claiming eligibility for the PSLF program.  Consequently, when I went to file my first employment certification for PSLF (after 4 years of eligible payments on the IBR plan), I found out that I had to apply to transfer my loans from my then servicer to Fed Loan.  I applied for the transfer, filed my certification, and my loans were transferred.   My eligible payments made to my former servicer still counted. 

I now file an employment certification with Fed Loan annually, b/c they are a TERRIBLE organization and I want to them to update my PSLF-eligible payment tracker reasonably often.

There is no official "enrollment," as such, for the PSLF.  You need to make 120 eligible payments - that's it.  The criteria for an "eligible" payment is very specific, requires employment certification, and is easy to screw up if you are not paying attention.  According to the rules, once you have made your 120 payments, you apply for forgiveness and Fed Loan decides if you have jumped through all the right hoops.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 12:00:49 PM by jezebel »

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 11:52:09 AM »
Just chiming in to second what previous posters have said. I am also on the public service loan forgiveness track. I am on the PAYE payment plan, which qualifies as income based repayment. My husband and I file our taxes separately so that my payment is lower (it's $500 more each month with his income included). She does not need to be enrolled in PSLF from her first payment, she just has to certify the payments through a form. If Fed Loan Servicing (sometimes known as Pennsylvania Higher Ed) is not her servicer, then she is not enrolled. Once she submits the PSLF form, she will be automatically transferred to Fed Loan Servicing. I certify my income once a year as well, and they usually send a reminder e-mail on that. While it asks for my husband's student loans (if any), it does not require proof of his income or anything like that if we have filed separately. The only time I've had to use his income for anything in relation to my student loans was when I was doing the student loan payment calculator on the department of education website.

I don't think this is accurate. Where did you get the info?

I am also on track for PSLF and as of today I have 4 years left to go.  My loans are serviced by Fed Loan Servicing.  This company was appointed the sole loan servicer for borrowers claiming eligibility for the PSLF program.  Consequently, when I went to file my first employment certification for PSLF (after 4 years of eligible payments on the IBR plan), I found out that I had to apply to transfer my loans from my then servicer to Fed Loan.  I applied for the transfer, filed my certification, and my loans were transferred.   My eligible payments made to my former servicer still counted. 

I now file an employment certification with Fed Loan annually, b/c they are a TERRIBLE organization and I want to them to update my PSLF-eligible payment tracker reasonably often.

There is no pfficial "enrollment," as such, for the PSLF.  You need to make 120 eligible payments - that's it.  The criteria for an "eligible" payment is very specific, requires employment certification, and is easy to screw up if you are not paying attention.  According to the rules, once you have made your 120 payments, you apply for forgiveness and Fed Loan decides if you have jumped through all the right hoops.

Somehow I ended up with them from the outset after consolidation. I'm having trouble getting them to count all of my payments toward PSLF (they just don't feel like it, apparently). I already appealed once, and it took like 8 months to get an update. They counted more than the first time, but still not all.

I'll file my PSLF paperwork with my income recertification this year, see how it goes.

They're still better than Navient. Really, a weekly punch in the gut would be better than Navient.

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1731
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 12:07:51 PM »
Just chiming in to second what previous posters have said. I am also on the public service loan forgiveness track. I am on the PAYE payment plan, which qualifies as income based repayment. My husband and I file our taxes separately so that my payment is lower (it's $500 more each month with his income included). She does not need to be enrolled in PSLF from her first payment, she just has to certify the payments through a form. If Fed Loan Servicing (sometimes known as Pennsylvania Higher Ed) is not her servicer, then she is not enrolled. Once she submits the PSLF form, she will be automatically transferred to Fed Loan Servicing. I certify my income once a year as well, and they usually send a reminder e-mail on that. While it asks for my husband's student loans (if any), it does not require proof of his income or anything like that if we have filed separately. The only time I've had to use his income for anything in relation to my student loans was when I was doing the student loan payment calculator on the department of education website.

I don't think this is accurate. Where did you get the info?

I am also on track for PSLF and as of today I have 4 years left to go.  My loans are serviced by Fed Loan Servicing.  This company was appointed the sole loan servicer for borrowers claiming eligibility for the PSLF program.  Consequently, when I went to file my first employment certification for PSLF (after 4 years of eligible payments on the IBR plan), I found out that I had to apply to transfer my loans from my then servicer to Fed Loan.  I applied for the transfer, filed my certification, and my loans were transferred.   My eligible payments made to my former servicer still counted. 

I now file an employment certification with Fed Loan annually, b/c they are a TERRIBLE organization and I want to them to update my PSLF-eligible payment tracker reasonably often.

There is no pfficial "enrollment," as such, for the PSLF.  You need to make 120 eligible payments - that's it.  The criteria for an "eligible" payment is very specific, requires employment certification, and is easy to screw up if you are not paying attention.  According to the rules, once you have made your 120 payments, you apply for forgiveness and Fed Loan decides if you have jumped through all the right hoops.

Somehow I ended up with them from the outset after consolidation. I'm having trouble getting them to count all of my payments toward PSLF (they just don't feel like it, apparently). I already appealed once, and it took like 8 months to get an update. They counted more than the first time, but still not all.

I'll file my PSLF paperwork with my income recertification this year, see how it goes.

They're still better than Navient. Really, a weekly punch in the gut would be better than Navient.

I have been there, and then some, my friend.  I can't count the number of hours and reps I have gone through with that company.

To the OP's income question - you don't have to call up and update them when your income changes,  just once a year when they contact you to recertify for your income-based plan.   If she's been on an income-based plan, she would have done this several times already.  If she hasn't, that sounds fishy and you need to make 100% sure that her payments are actually eligible for PSLF.  The criteria is very specific and has several conditions that need to be met for a payment to be eligible.

ringer707

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 305
Re: Disclosing income for student loan repayment...is it required??
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2017, 01:02:10 PM »
I don't think this is accurate. Where did you get the info?

Personal experience. I filed my PSLF paperwork when I made my first student loan payment. I was immediately transferred to Fed Loan Servicing. My coworker also just filed his PSLF paperwork and was automatically transferred from Navient to Fed Loan Servicing as well.

It may not be true for some forgiveness programs such as teacher forgiveness, but is for PSLF.

Also, pages 3-4 state that you will be autotransferred to Fed Loan Servicing - https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/public-service-loan-forgiveness-employment-certification-borrower-letter.pdf