Category Archives: Student Loans

Student loan debt is a common source of financial strain for Americans. Our Kansas City bankruptcy attorney helps those struggling with student loan debt.

What to Know About Recertifying Your Income-Driven Repayment Program

The Department of Education offers four income-driven repayment (IDR programs) programs for federal student loan borrowers (IBR, ICR, REPAYE and PAYE). These programs limit your monthly payments to a percentage of your discretionary income. However, there is a universal rule that applies to these four programs—you must recertify your income each year to stay enrolled. Whatever you do, do not forget to recertify by the deadline! Here is a  hypothetical example which demonstrates some of the consequences of forgetting to recertify your student loans. What Could Happen If You Do Not Recertify Let’s say for example that you are enrolled in the IBR program, which limits your monthly payments to $117 per month. Your monthly payments under the standard 10-year repayment option would be $480 per month. You are also enrolled in automatic payments through your loan servicer, meaning your checking account is auto-debited each month. Then, for whatever reason,…
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How to Stay Enrolled in the Department of Education’s PSLF Program

Last month’s blog discussed why many people are unable to receive loan forgiveness through the Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). The Department of Education allows some federal student loan borrowers working at certain public service jobs to receive tax-free loan forgiveness. However, the PSLF program has numerous requirements. You should ensure that you stay qualified if you are enrolled in this program. Please note that information in this blog post is subject to change, and that any recommendations in this post are not to be construed as legal advice. Make your payments on time You will need to make 120 timely payments to qualify for PSLF forgiveness. Your student loan servicer offers an automatic payment option. By enrolling in this option, your bank account will be automatically debited each month to pay down your balance. If you’re financially organized and aware of the timing of these…
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Do You Meet the Six Requirements for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

George W. Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) into law in 2007. The CCRAA created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), which allows some federal student loan borrowers working at qualifying public service jobs to receive tax-free loan forgiveness. Student loan borrowers qualify for forgiveness under PSLF if they meet the requirements—for which there are many. Unfortunately, student loan servicers and the Department of Education failed to effectively communicate these requirements to borrowers. Many borrowers who believed they were eligible for PSLF forgiveness are finding out their loans or jobs never qualified. As a result, some borrowers have made the required ten years of payments only to find out their loans were never eligible for forgiveness. You can only receive PSLF forgiveness if you meet the following requirements: Requirement #1: You have federal loans. Private loans do not qualify for PSLF. If you are thinking…
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