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You're correct - tax offsets (as they're called) - are paused for student loans. Read more about the specifics here: Student Loan COVID-19 Programs.

We have seen some readers who saw the returns garnished, but then get a refund check for it.
Under what forgiveness program? Some are taxable, some are not.

Let's assume it's taxable. The amount is based on the total value of the loan at discharge. Principal, Interest, and any fees or collection costs on the loan.

See this: taxes and loan forgiveness.
You would use your tax return with your AGI. That's always the best approach each year.

If you use the "alternative method" to certify your income, they use your gross pay, not net pay, so you usually end up with a higher monthly payment. The only time the alternative method makes sense is if you lost your job and have no income.
Private Student Loans / Re: Private Loans Drowning!
April 15, 2020, 11:34:14 pm
Sadly, you don't pay for it on your income. You need to:
- Find a way to supplement your income and grow it significantly outside of work
- Look for a lawyer you help you address your total debt (including the loans) and see if something like bankruptcy is an option.

You might find this helpful: Lawyer For Your Student Loans.
Ask a Question / Re: Over our heads
April 15, 2020, 11:31:07 pm
No, you use your income-tax return every year.
Student Loan Forgiveness / Re: IBR qualifications
April 15, 2020, 09:39:38 am
If your income exceeds what you'd pay on the standard 10 year, yes, you switch plans. But for PSLF, both the standard 10 year plan and RePAYE (the other good option) count for PSLF. It doesn't reset your payment clock.

You have to do the math on joint or separate returns.
As long as you're still employed, your 6 month "pause" on your loans will still count towards your 120 PSLF count. No action is required on your part.

See our full guide here: COVID-19 student loan relief programs.
Navigating Repayment / Re: PSLF program
April 04, 2020, 12:31:09 pm
1. No, it doesn't take any time to "kick in". You need to dig in and see why your payments aren't qualifying.

- Have you turned in an Employer certification form for all months/years worked?
- Are you on the correct repayment plan to qualify?
- Do you have the correct loans?

2. If you change repayment plans, there is usually one month of forbearance between the two plans. Recertification has no issues with this. So, once you're on a qualifying plan, you're set.
Random time to ask - right now, all Federal loans are paused until September 30, 2020. Any payments for PSLF that were eligible during this time count anyway.

In general, you just call your loan servicer to get out of forbearance.
We've seen it, but not personally experienced it.
No, you should be able to consolidate FFEL to Direct. Start the process and you'll see it happen.
On your old NSLDS form there was a way to see who owned the loan, but I don't think there is a way currently. I think your best bet is to call your loan servicer and as who the "loan holder" actually is - is it Department of Education (and as such, does it qualify), or is it a private bank or company?
There is no application for IBR. Your payments end at the end of your 25-year term.

Based on what you said here, I'm guessing that you didn't start IBR until less than 25 years ago (maybe about 5-10 years ago), and/or you consolidated your loans somewhere along the line. These events would be the start of your 25-year timeline.
Private Student Loans / Re: Am I being scammed
March 26, 2020, 04:51:55 pm
We don't judge individual companies, but you should note, there are specific rules for PSLF, and a "graduated" repayment plan is not a qualifying plan. Read this article on PSLF.
If it's like everything else, it's likely going to start with FFEL loans owned by the Department of Education. Most FFEL loans are owned by private banks, but in 2008, some lenders sold their loans back to the Department of Education.

If you have an FFEL loan that's not owned by ED, I'd strongly encourage you to consolidate into a Direct Loan. Furthermore, most programs that will happen going forward will all be for Direct Loans.