Every June and July, as new residents begin to get a taste of what it’s like to finally be making some money, they also begin to feel the weight of the mega amounts of student loan debt. With some student loan balances higher than others, EVERYONE can begin to take advantage of this little trick to begin the student loan repayment process.
If you look at how student loan repayment plans are calculated, you’ll notice that some are straight-forward, others are a little more confusing, but a few stand out as gold mines if you get on them quickly. Enter income-driven repayment plans (there are four). Please don’t confuse this for income-based repayment, which is ONLY one of the four plans.
What are income-driven repayments? Well, they are student loan payments that are based on how much you make (income). There is also this neat little program (for now) that the federal government may forgive your student loans, free of taxes (for some) if you work for 10 years at a public, non-profit (501c3 technical term) organization. Wait, what? If you work for a public teaching hospital, for instance, and you are employed with them for 10 years, and during those 10 years you make student loan payments on an income-driven repayment plan, the federal government may forgive the remaining student loan balance!
So here is the catch. Don’t wait for your grace period to run out before you get on one of these plans. The moment you graduate, and the day (or next weekend) after you get your first paycheck, begin the application process to get put on an income-driven repayment plan. Here’s why you need to do this: Your payment for the next 12 months is based on your prior years’ tax return. How much did you make that last year in medical/pharmacy school? Exactly. You begin the process to have potentially a $0 payment count towards your possible loan forgiveness.
If you have already missed out on this, bummer. I’m sorry I didn’t write this sooner. If you know someone who has time left or will be starting soon. Let them know ASAP. You could potentially save them thousands!
Joie de Vivre!
Guardian and its subsidiaries do not issue or advise with regard to student loans.