Tim, thanks for doing what you do here. Any word on changes to the PSLF program, in lieu of the proposed $57K cap? I’m in the IBR program, working for a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and have been making qualifying payments for approximately six years – and I’m terrified that changes to the PSLF program will affect me. All my loans are federal. Also, I’ve been told by my loan servicer in the past that I don’t do anything “now” for PSLF, that I wait until closer to the end of the 10 years. Any insight into that?
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
Thank you. The article you referenced states that the AGI is minus personal exemptions and itemized deductions…which is wrong. “Adjusted Gross Income is calculated before the itemized or standard deductions” from a tax website. I WISH it was after exemptions and itemized deductions as that is a huge, huge difference in the AGI…but it’s not. My payment is supposed to be $400 based on my husbands income alone and their is no way we can do that now…none. If find SOME job to make that $400, the payment will just go UP…which is crazy. It’s like you cannot win. It seems to make no sense for me to work at all….which is wrong. Filing separately seems to be a choice, but we have a daughter in college and would lose the education deductions, etc. This whole thing is crazy if it makes more financial sense for me to not work at all! Or I guess he could file injured spouse year after year, but I just don’t understand why they won’t just consider MY income. Sorry for venting, just frustrated.

It’s hard to say for sure what you should do in this situation, but don’t give up, because you do have options. The loan is never going to disappear entirely, and don’t think that “forgiveness” is free, because even when you have your debt “forgiven”, the IRS counts it as taxable income for that year, and you end up facing a pretty big tax bill anyway.
For details on how this program works, you definitely need to visit my page on the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program, but because the system is so complicated, and can take so long to get an approval or denial response, this is one situation where I recommend that EVERYONE hires a student loan expert for assistance in preparing the application.
Do student loans ever “expire”? I have about $ 11,000 in student loans from 1984-1988 from before we were married. They were consolidated around 1998. I have been a stay at home mom since 1993. We now have 8 kids, Our budget has always been tight, & although we will have my husbands student loans paid off in 2 years, there never has been enough extra to make consistent payments on mine. My loans have have been in & out of forbearance, deferment, rehabilitation, etc. They have been in default (again) for some time. Last year they took our income tax return. Now the collection compay is suggesting another rehabilitation – but I am a stay at home mom and don’t expect to ever have my “own” income. Is my husband obligated to pay my loans from his salary? Can they put a lien on our home? Should I be even considering signing these rehab forms? They want to set us up on a year of monthly payments I am not even sure we can meet. And after the loan is rehabilitated & some other company buys it I am sure our payments will increase. I feel like I am lying by agreeing to make these payments, as I am not sure we can. What should I do? – Thank you!
Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).
Forgiven loans may be taxable. Generally, forgiven, canceled or discharged student debt is taxed as income unless you were required to work for a certain type of employer or in a certain profession to qualify for the forgiveness. For instance, loans discharged through Public Service Loan Forgiveness are not taxable, but debt forgiven through income-driven repayment plans is taxable. Loans discharged upon a borrower’s death or permanent disability were previously taxed as income, but the latest tax code changed that. Loans discharged for this reason after Dec. 31, 2017, are not taxable.

Total and permanent disability discharge. If you cannot work due to being totally and permanently disabled, physically or mentally, you may qualify to have your remaining student loan debt canceled. To be eligible, you’ll need to provide documentation proving your disability. Once your loans are discharged, the government may monitor your finances and disability for three years. If you don’t meet requirements during the monitoring period, your loans may be reinstated. Details on the application process are available at disabilitydischarge.com.
I have significant amount of loans. I applied for a repayment plan and was told I did not qualify for Paye because I had loans before 2007 so I was out on REPaye. My partner and I are now thinking of getting married (so I can get his medical insurance benefits) but I just read that under REPaye they always look at your joint income even if you’re married filing separate. Can I change my payment plan to IBR so only my AGI would be taken into consideration? I’ve only made 6 qualifying thus far. Also, would IBR increase or decrease my current payment? I’m hoping the repayment plans are not permanent. We are also speaking to our tax person to see what specific pros/cons us potentially getting married will have on our financial situation. I know they are several cons so we are weighing out our options of getting married now or until I’m down with PSLF. -Thank you
I currently owe 385,000 in student loans. My loans are a combination of undergraduate, law school and and LL.M degree. All of these loans are also at varying interest rates, from 5.8-8.5 and dating back to 2003. They are all federal and are direct, ffel, etc. One of the things I don’t understand is interest. I am currently on IBR which makes my payments affordable. But unfortunately I don’t make enough money to put a dent in the principal. Although my goal is to make more money, I just had the interest on my loan capitalized to the current amount because I did not recertify my IBR on time (this is my first year on IBR). I applied for reinstatement of IBR so I am waiting on approval. My question is, hypothetically if I am not able to increase my salary significantly enough to put a dent in the principal, will I owe BOTH the principal and the unpaid interest at the end of the 25 year term? And what happens to the unpaid interest while I am in repayment?
For details on how this program works, you definitely need to visit my page on the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program, but because the system is so complicated, and can take so long to get an approval or denial response, this is one situation where I recommend that EVERYONE hires a student loan expert for assistance in preparing the application.
Like other forms of debt, you can refinance a student loan (both private student loans and federal student loans are eligible for refinancing). With most lenders, you start with a rate estimate, which doesn’t require a hard credit inquiry. When comparing rates from different lenders, be sure to pay attention to additional key differences, such as fees, before making a final decision (Earnest has no fees, for what it’s worth).
I’m looking for options. I’m currently defaulted on $27,000 and in the process of applying for a discharge due to the school not ensuring my ability to benefit (I did not graduate high school and did not have a GED, yet they never gave me any sort of test to determine if I’d be able to benefit from my chosen program), which I assume will be approved, however currently they’re taking my tax refund (which I really cannot afford to lose) so if for whatever reason I’m denied I am hoping to have options so I don’t continue to have my tax refunds taken.
If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.
After spending weeks communicating with other companies I had about given up on refinancing my loans. I decided to give one more company a try. Laurel Road (formerly DRB Student Loan) was such an easy online process I almost didn’t believe. I would recommend them to anyone. Student loans are stressful so it’s so nice knowing there’s a company out there to make the process as pain free as possible!
I’ve read as many of the above comments as I could in order to avoid a repeat question, but couldn’t find any that directly addressed my situation. I’m scared to contact Direct Loans (all of my considerable undergrad and grad student loans are Federal loans), because I’ve been in default for so long. Just before I completed my Ph.D., two things happened. One: I became a mother with very bad post-partum depression, and Two: I had a nervous breakdown because my graduate advisor stole my work and sabotaged my ethnographic field study due to sheer incompetence. I didn’t fight any of it (see above references to total physical and emotional breakdowns), but instead focused on keeping myself and my children alive and in gradually improving health. It really was a survival situation. My husband has been our sole provider since I left graduate school (ABD), and I have not been employed outside the home since then. I have, however, homeschooled both of our children diligently and well, as well as run a small organic farm on one income. His income is barely enough for us to do this. It is certainly not enough for us to pay 15% of our income to loans, and so I am also exploring ways to use my education for income so that I can pay off loans. Like…write a bestseller. Yeah. (It’s actually not a total pipe dream. I do have one 600 page novel nearly finished, and it’s pretty damned good.) So my question is this: since none of my debt was incurred while married, and since I have not been employed since 2003, and since I DO very much want to repay my debt, but it pretty much seems completely hopeless, what can I do? What’s the best way to go forward here?

1. Student loan collateral is your earnings. So like a car loan, the collateral is the car. If you don’t pay your car loan, the bank takes your car. It’s basically the same things for student loans. That’s why consumer protections like bankruptcy don’t apply. If you ever have the potential to earn money above subsistence level, that money (at least a portion of it) will go towards the debt. Whether you agree or disagree, that’s how it’s setup.
I have 2 student loans from Great Lakes higher education one for aprox $9,000 and one for Aprox $19,000 it looks as if they defaulted not my credit report in 2013 however the loans were taking out between 2002-2006 I believe. I am now unemployed I have been for 6 years. I have filed for social security disability. Does this change anything about repayment or if I’m approved for disability will that change anything for repayment? I really hope you have some info on this no one seems to know. Thank you.
Whether the terms of your student loans aren’t working for you or you want to look into securing a lower interest rate, refinancing could be just what you need. It doesn’t take much time to check out top student loan lenders for your refinancing options. If you decide you want to apply, you could start saving money on your loans in less than a month.
State-sponsored repayment assistance programs. Licensed teachers, nurses, doctors and lawyers in certain states may be able to take advantage of programs to assist with repaying debt. For example, the Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment Program will pay up to $3,000 per year for a maximum of four years on undergraduate educational loans to teachers with a specific teaching license for each year of teaching full time in a particular geographical or subject area. Contact your state’s higher education department to find out if you qualify for a program.
×