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When to re-certify income: income changes? yearly?

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Total Posts: 2

Joined 2017-05-11

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I recently sent in the income certificaiton for REPAYE and it was accepted, stating my wife and I are good from now through September of 2018 with the stated payment (say $1200/month). Now my wife will start her attending job in January, which obviously changes her income a bit from residency levels and thus our overall family AGI with the estimated new payment around $1800/month. Given that income change, do I need to re-certify in January? My wife’s income will be based on the number of patients she sees and as a contractor, mine is based on the work I am able to secure. That means at best, I can give a ballpark of our expected AGI for the year, or are we set with her current payment, regardless of income level changes until we are recertify by September 2018? Other thought, should we just recertify every year after we do our taxes?

I am trying to avoid a scenario where I submit our paperwork at the end of her repayment and various payments are not accepted or counted towards the required number of payments (120 payments in her case due to PSLF).

Thanks for the help in advance.

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Total Posts: 10

Joined 2015-02-16

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I do my recert every year electronically unless my income really drops. Then I might cry to my loan servicer. Mine is due in September. The electronic form will go through the IRS and import your “newest” tax returns in a few seconds. Last year, I thought it pulled up my 2014 or 2015 taxes to use for payments in 2017. You do not need to estimate anything. Your payments will catch up to your income you report on your taxes eventually.

I tried to recert early this year and it gave me all kinds of Warnings.

My student loan company sends me an email before it is due, but I wouldn’t count on it. It could go to junk mail. Login to studentloans.gov and try to recert, it will tell you what date to put on your calendar in 2018. The date changes every year. It use to be November, then it was August a few years, and now it is September for me. Yours should probably be June/July 2018. It takes a few months to process. Don’t do paper forms. The electronic ones use your actual AGI after self-employment taxes, IRA contributions, and student loan interest deduction. So if you qualify for retirement plans, time to load up on pre-tax contributions. See your tax guy!

Also be sure to submit your qualification paperwork (whole different form) every few years for PSLF. They will update your “qualified payments” so you know how many payments are ‘accepted.’ But as many found out, the payments may be qualified, but the employer might not be at the final application time. Still it is comforting to see your qualified payments jump higher every few years. They also transferred all my loans after my first form to Fedloan Servicing to better track me as PSLF. Might still do that. It helps them estimate how many people qualify and how much it is going to cost the government.