Here's our details:
• Wife's loan is $154,000 (currently on PSLF plan and has about 5 years left) and she's currently on
• I don't have any loans
• No kids
We got married in September 2019 and haven't yet filed our 2019 taxes. It seems like we'd be better off switching to PAYE if we qualify but we're not sure if our joint income or only my wife's income is considered when applying to change to PAYE. Do we need to file our taxes for 2019 first before we apply? If so, would we need to file separately?
I know our tax return will likely be better if we file jointly, but the main priority is making sure we qualify for PAYE when we apply.
You need to do some math. Check this article: Math Behind Married Filing Separately for PAYE (https://thecollegeinvestor.com/17807/the-math-behind-married-filing-separately-for-ibr-or-paye/). It might save on loans, but in many cases the higher taxes don't always make it worthwhile.