Fitting in student loans before 2023 ends The end of the year is a busy time, but don’t let it slip away before you take care of your student loan to-dos! It feels impossible that November is already half over, and the last weeks of 2023 are filling up with plans, parties, and traveling. In-between family time, Friendsgiving, holiday shopping, and an already packed work schedule, it can feel impossible to fit in one more thing, but make sure your student loans are just as ready for the end-of-year squeeze as you are—it’s worth it! Taxes, student loans, and more It may seem crazy to be thinking about taxes already, but you can save on your student loans if you do. It’s open enrollment for a lot of health plans right now, and you might be able to take advantage of opportunities to expand your pre-tax contributions. If you’re like me, you may have an HSA or FSA that’s been under- or unutilized that is just begging for you to put it to use, and some require that you decide how much you’re going to contribute when you enroll. Remember that any pre-tax deductions lower your taxable income, reducing your tax liability; if you have an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, it also lowers your discretionary income used to calculate your monthly payment. Student loan opportunities not to miss If you have federal student loans, you could take advantage of certain forgiveness programs that are currently available, even if you don’t think you qualify. There are probably thousands of borrowers out who unknowingly qualify for forgiveness opportunities, but won’t apply. The IDR Account Adjustment is designed to provide relief to borrowers who have been in long-term repayment, but who have had the wrong type of loans or payment plans, or have been dismayed through administrative setbacks or mismanagement. It will allow borrowers, regardless of previous federal loan type or payment plan, to gain access to forgiveness as long as they get on to an approved IDR plan and consolidate any non-Direct loans, such as FFELs or Perkins Loans. Borrowers pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness, PSLF, can benefit as well, even if they already have all Direct loans and are on a qualifying IDR plan. A client of ours, Dr. Kate, has federal loans from multiple levels of education, dating back over a decade of education and work. She finished school in 2020 and found a full-time job in a non-profit hospital, but—due to the Covid-19 pandemic—her loans were in administrative forbearance. Kate has been working towards PSLF, but, as of this last summer, her loans had a hodgepodge of qualifying payment counts. She worked at a non-profit a little before going to grad school and made about two years of payments towards PSLF. Loans from her master’s, then medical school, only had the years of administrative forbearance from Covid-19 counted towards forgiveness. By consolidating everything, her new Direct Consolidation Loan has the same qualifying payment count as her undergrad loans did, which means all her student debt will be forgiven in one fell swoop rather than hodgepodge over a few years. Even if you don’t fit the precise mold for different repayment and forgiveness programs, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of them! Borrowers have until Dec. 31 to consolidate any loans they want included in the IDR Account Adjustment. If you have questions about whether you qualify, or any of the other ways you can save money on your student loans, we’re here to help!

Student Loan End-of-the-Year Checklist

The end of the year is a busy time, but don’t let it slip away before you take care of your student loan to-dos!

Student Loan Consolidation & Forgiveness: Trade Your Old Student Loans in for Better Ones

Student Loan Consolidation & Forgiveness: Trade Your Old Student Loans in for Better Ones

The IDR Account Adjustment looks at your oldest federal loan with qualifying payments and updates the payment count of all of your Direct Loans to match. For one client, that’s his Perkins Loan, which he started paying off in residency. FFELs and Perkins Loans, however, are ineligible for both PSLF and IDR forgiveness, normally. Suppose you consolidate them into a new Direct Consolidation Loan by the end of 2023. In that case, they become eligible and retain the highest existing payment count meaning not only got PSLF a year early on the loans he thought would be forgiven, he got ALL his loans forgiven! 

Student Loan Consolidation & Forgiveness: Trade Your Old Student Loans in for Better Ones

How to Know When to Call Your Student Loan Servicer

If you have a need for quick changes, immediate response, or more complex information, you may need to give your student loan servicer a call. None of them, however, have a great track record of customer service. That said, if you can endure the endless phone trees and wait times, you could be rewarded with same-day results. Sadly, it can take a bit of maneuvering to get to someone who can truly be helpful.

Can’t Afford Your Student Loan Payment

Can’t Afford Your Student Loan Payment?

If the thought of paying your student loans is still making you cringe, give your student loan professional a call. We’re here to help you find your way out of the dark and toward a bright new path, free from your repayment woes!

Borrowers’ Patience Paying Off: Student Loans Finally Forgiven

Between these two initiatives, President Biden and Secretary Cardona have forgiven the federal student loans of over 1.5 million Americans by correcting decades old failures. We can’t wait to see what comes next! If you’re one of those whose loans were forgiven, we want to hear your story! If you want to become one of them, drop us a line and let us show you how we can make it happen!

Pay Your Student Loans, Don’t Pay for a Scam

Pay Your Student Loans, Don’t Pay for a Scam

Neither FSA nor loan servicers share sensitive information or figures in emails, but rather direct you to secure messaging on their websites. If you hear something that seems too good to be true, check it at studentaid.gov, or reach out to your student loan professional for trusted, tried-and-true advice.

How to Apply for a SAVE Plan

How to Apply for a SAVE Plan

There’s a new way to save money on your student loans, and it has an easy-to-remember name: SAVE! The “Saving on a Valuable Education” plan is the newest option for borrowers utilizing income-driven repayment to lower how much they owe each month.

Student Loan Payments & Interest Are Back

First, make sure that you’re prepared to start making payments, up-to-date on correspondence, etc. If you’re afraid you can’t afford your payment, consider recertifying your income if it’s gone down over the last three-plus years. You can also enroll in the new SAVE plan.

800k+ Borrowers’ Student Loans Forgiven—Are Yours?

800k+ Borrowers’ Student Loans Forgiven—Are Yours?

If you have questions about whether your loans qualify for forgiveness under the IDR Account Adjustment, are wondering about consolidation, or how you could be impacted by federal loan forgiveness—such as whether that forgiveness may be taxed(!)—contact your student loan professional.

The Price of an Education is Patience

The Price of an Education is Patience

Like any uncertain investment, patience is key to reaping the rewards of an education. The fruits of your labor may not be what you set out to find, nor what you thought you needed, but, whatever you reap, you’ll need patience while it grows.