This is Part II of this year’s series of Income-Based Repayment annual income re-certification. The federal loan servicing system is plagued with problems, and last year’s experience was a nightmare for me, even though I knew what I was doing and I’m sort of an expert in this stuff (in case you didn’t know).
To bring you all up to speed, I was notified by my loan servicer on September 30 that my 12-month IBR period was going to expire in three months, and I needed to submit new proof of income by November 7 in order to remain on IBR and have my IBR payment recalculated. Me being me, I submitted the required materials (the application and proof of income) the very next day (October 1). I followed up with my loan servicer the next week to confirm that they received everything.
Earlier this week, four weeks after sending in the documentation, I followed up with my servicer again to see where things were. I was informed that they do indeed have my application, but it has not been processed yet and there is no new information to report. They were unable to confirm that they have everything they need. This makes me a little concerned. While I still have plenty of time before my IBR period expires at the end of December, I remember all too well what happened last year, where my servicer processed my application at the last minute, determined there was a problem with my income documentation, and bumped me off IBR without notifying me (leaving me with a massive bill to pay under the Standard repayment plan). I then had re-send my income documentation to my servicer, but because there was no way for it to be processed before the rapidly-approach billing date, I had to request a temporary forbearance to postpone my payment until the next billing cycle, when hopefully my application would be processed. What a disaster.
So this time, I requested that they “expedite” my application so that I can (hopefully) get a response well before my December deadline. I was told that they would indeed “expedite” my application and I’ll get a response in 7 to 10 business days. Funny… if this is how long the “expedited” application review takes, how long does the “non-expedited” review take?
I’ll keep you all posted.