Income-based or income-driven repayment (IDR) plans are often a great help to anyone finding it difficult to repay their student loans. However, it comes with a few minor caveats.
IDR plans are not a one-and-done deal. If you took out a federal student loan using an IDR plan, you are required by law to recertify your personal and financial information every year. Your lender or loan servicer would notify you when your deadline is — all you need to do is resubmit your IDR application on time.
Information Necessary for Recertification
Income driven repayment recertification can be done in two ways: online and offline. Before diving into how to recertify income driven repayment (IDR) plans, though, let’s go over the information you need to submit.
You’ll need to submit or include the following details in your annual IDR recertification form:
- Family size: If you or your wife is currently pregnant, the growing baby in her belly should still be counted.
- Spousal information: Indicate your marital status and your spouse’s federal loan status.
- Latest proof of income: Provide your latest federal income tax return, tax transcript, or any other alternate proof of taxable income, like recent pay stubs.
- Type of request: Indicate that you are submitting the form for recertification, rather than a new application.
- Signature: Don’t forget to attach your signature.
There are four types of IDR plans you could get, including income-based repayment and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plans. However, all four of them require the same information for recertification.
Recertify Your IDR via the Online Portal
It is easy to resubmit your IDR application information online via the Federal Student Aid website. You will need to have aN FSA account for this. Scroll down until you see “Returning IDR Applicants” and click login to start.
The online portal has a tax tool that can retrieve your latest income tax returns if you filed taxes with the IRS. Otherwise, you will need to upload it manually.
A big advantage to recertifying your IDR plan online is the convenience. Even if you have multiple lenders or servicers, the federal website will share your recertification request and documents with all of them.
Recertify Your IDR via Traditional Mail
You can also file your IDR recertification via mail. Simply download the necessary application form from the federal website and print it out. Alternatively, you may request a printed form from your loan lender.
After accomplishing the form and including any necessary documents, simply mail the information to your servicer. However, if you have several lenders, you will need to mail one copy of the completed recertification form and documents to each one.
Dangers of Missing Your Deadline
Failure to file for recertification on time can result in getting switched onto a different repayment plan. This can potentially result in higher payments, overdrafts, and penalties.
Income driven repayment recertification is a fairly quick and easy task. All you need to ensure is that you meet your deadline.
Contact us or visit the rest of our website to learn more about IDR plans and federal student loans.