Only borrow what you need and don’t finance your life with student loans. IBR allowed me to start my life (buy a home, feel comfortable starting a family, save and invest money). As far as switching plans, yes there can be implications but generally you’re not going to start the repayment clock over by switching plans as far as I understand. It is only meant to show the thought process through which we reached a final decision. In my case I’m so far gone that my minimum payment on IBR is $0 per month. If you wait until your income is so large that you don’t independently qualify for IBR, it’ll be too late to switch. Is there a likely scenario where you’re pursuing PSLF and make 61 or more payments while in the 10-year standard repayment plan? Some borrowers aren’t eligible for PAYE and are therefore limited to IBR and REPAYE for PSLF qualification. Please understand that our decision tree does not necessarily predict your own decision tree. of the student debt’s debilitating ability to control my life that I even had Mike sit in on some of the meetings. However, participation in REPAYE makes you eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program . I had over 240K in with an interest rate of over 6%. The numbers won’t lie. Was saving money for about 3 years, then had a significant increase in pay and was then paying max on that plan (~$1450). Payments under the 10-Year Standard Repayment count toward PSLF. They called it a course to make it sound official, but it was literally a one hour power-point presentation in a small classroom with mostly empty seats. Right now thanks to COVID my payment is still based on taxes from 2 years ago (AGI 190k I think, payment is about $1400/month). Open to questioning society’s standards of success, I am finding ways to reach my life goals by refusing some things that we take for granted as the norm. We were the only two students in the classroom during these meetings. For that reason, YOU are the one that will be doing most of the tracking so I’d keep a record of every payment you made in case there are any disputes in the future. After four years of undergrad and four years of dental school, I ended up with a debt of over $550k, which I then had to start paying back. Again, we turn to the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note for evidence. IBR has a higher payment formula (15% of discretionary income vs 10% for REPAYE). But, like you, I’m cheap and not likely to spend money on outside help (after all, we’re lawyers and so should be able to figure it out ourselves!). I file my taxes separately from my spouse. REPAYE One email each month covers personal finance, financial independence, investing and other stuff for lawyers that makes you better. Can a late requalification or switching plans wipe the slate and your years counting toward forgiveness start over? It’s a good question Brock. I wish I did so I can hit him up and ask how his path to repayment is going. I fully recognize that I was an adult when I took out my student loans for professional school but to a certain degree I feel duped by the system bc IBR was fairly new at the time and was being almost pushed as this great program that allowed you to live your life after graduating school without being crippled by giant loan payments. First, with the interest subsidy for REPAYE, the effective interest rate under REPAYE is better than many of the private refinancing options. All subscribers will receive weekly frugal challenges for the first month, to kick-start your way towards financial freedom! Your article seems to argue otherwise — please let me know if I’m interpreting it wrong. Saving money required us to be more frugal, and being more frugal opened up the doors to finding alternative ways to find happiness in things that don’t require consumerism. We will discuss the qualifications of the first four below, because you can receive forgiveneess directly through the IDR programs. With PAYE the concern has been that they will be put into a 10 year Standard plan at some point down the road during those 120 payments, and lose the PSLF being pursued. I assume you’ve run the math but is it really a better deal to seek forgiveness with the accompanying tax bomb than to just pay off the loans? One may argue that it is better to pay down a higher portion of the loans so that at the end of the 25 years, the amount left over that you will be taxed on is less. Both will take 25 years before the student loans were forgiven. 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