When the borrower is making this much income, I totally disagree. Let's say OP goes on IBR or PAYE averages an $800 payment over the life of the loan by strategically reducing his AGI:

Principal Paid: $192,000

Deductions Lost (Due to Filing Separately): approximately $75-100,000

Taxable Amount: $223,440 ($300k principal + $1200 monthly interest accruing x 20 years = $588k x .38 tax bracket).

Capital Gains (Need to take out 1.16x taxable amount to cover capital gains tax): $35,750

TOTAL: $551,190.40.

Sure, if he put $50,000 away for 20 years and got 7% interest, he'd have almost $2.2M. But what if the market takes a hit that year and he also has to pull $260k to cover his tax liability? All that work and he will have lost a fortune.

Importantly, I think OP can pay these off in 6-7 years. My math says that if he can pay $5,500 per month towards his loans ($66k per year), he will pay $362k over the life of the loan and be done with it after 5.5 years.

Then after that, if he stays at a similar compensation level, he will be able to throw way more than $50,000 a year towards his loans for 15 years while not basing every financial decision on his student loans/tax liability.

In short, OP will get a short term break by going on IBR. But he will have to dance around the tax code for 20 years and pay (with lost deductions) over $550k towards his loans. Conversely, if he just deals with his loans, he will pay $362k towards his loans ($200k less than IBR) and then have incredible financial freedom after he's done paying off his loans.

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Completely disagree with this analysis.

1) If he puts the $5500/month x 5.5 years into a brokerage account and let's it ride for 15 years, the outcome is vastly better for OPs net worth than paying off the loans.

2) There's at least 50% chance that the ~ $250,000 you have associated with taxes will not materialize.

3) It's impossible to quantify the loss (if any -- big if) from filing separately. Who knows what the OPs marriage situation or his wife's income will be.