If you have had federal student loans (Direct or FFEL) for over 10 years, either making payments, in forbearance, or in a deferment prior to 2013, you might be able to pay them off way sooner than you thought! This is because more has gone on in 2022 regarding student loans besides President Biden's student loan plan announced in August.
Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Recount
Let's say you took out a student loan in the early 2000s, say in 2003. Since then, you have been in some sort of repayment plan, a forbearance, or a deferment prior to 2013. How would you like those months you were in a deferment or forbearance to count as payments in an Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plan along with the months in which you did make payments?
The IDR Recount sets out to do just that! Depending on the IDR plan, and whether you have undergraduate or graduate loans, your repayment period would be either 20 or 25 years, assuming you made payments all of those months. But if you only got into an IDR plan recently, or in the last few years, you still have a way to go!
But if those months in deferment or forbearance are counted, and those payments made NOT in an IDR plan as well, then you may come to the end of those 20 or 25 years a lot sooner! The only time that doesn't count is time spent in default or in bankruptcy.
So How Do You Get the IDR Recount?
What you need to do depends on your situation. If you have FFEL loans, then you need to consolidate to a Direct loan ASAP in order for the Department of Education to do a recount. Bear in mind that this can take about 60 days to process. If you don't complete the consolidation by the end of the year, you will not get the recount!
If you already have Direct Loans (and no FFEL loans), then the government will do the recount automatically. Not sure if your loans are FFEL or Direct? Go to www.StudentAid.com and find out!
Finally, if you are not currently in an IDR plan, and the recount doesn't pay off your balance, you need to apply for one, so that once payments start coming due on January 1, 2023, you will be ready. The Department of Education will use your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from 2021 to calculate your payment.
If you were in an IDR plan when the pandemic started, your IDR payment will resume at the amount it was in March of 2020. If your income situation has changed for the worse since then, you will need to request a recalculation.
Still Not Sure What to Do?
This can all be very confusing, and your head may well be spinning after reading this. If you would like assistance in consolidating your loans and/or applying for an IDR plan in order to benefit from this recount, then put an experienced student loan lawyer to work for you! Just click this link right away to schedule an initial, free, no obligation call to discuss your loans.
Don't miss out on the recount by waiting too long!
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