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Tax filing when married- affecting loan repayments

Started by jstewart11, November 26, 2017, 07:36:44 am

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jstewart11

Hello,

I was hoping for advice on student loan repayment and filing taxes.
I'm currently on the pay as you earn repayment plan, as is my husband. We both have large amounts of loans from graduate schools. I was wondering if it is possible to tell if married filing separately vs filing together is more beneficial.
Currently, he has about the 125,000 in loans and I have 155,250 in loans. I make about 56,000 and he makes about 75,000 annually. I currently pay 313.24 a month and he pays 480 a month for student loan repayments. I'm worried that if we file together, both of our payments will skyrocket because it looks like we make more, however we both have significant amounts of debt. Is the spouse's debt looked at as well when calculating new payments, or is it just individual based off of a household income? We also bought a house a few months ago if that makes any difference.

I know this isn't the best way to pay off loans- that we should probably just work on paying down the lowest loan, throwing all of our extra money at it. However, we have chosen to pay the minimum and just be okay paying that for duration of the payment term, as it works a little better for our lifestyle at this point.
Thanks!

TheCollegeInvestor

You need to have your accountant or tax preparer do the math for you. They can usually do it pretty easily when you look at your taxes in a month or two.

Run the following scenarios:
- Married Filing Jointly
- Married Filing Separately

Then, you go to the Student Loan repayment estimator on StudentLoans.gov and input your AGI for both scenarios, and see your loan payments.

Finally, figure out which is cheaper for you given the difference in taxes.