This is the second installment of my ongoing, real-time process of re-certifying my income to the U.S. Department of Education so that I can remain on the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan. As many of you know, there have been widespread problems with the IBR re-certificaiton process, so I am documenting my own experience to see if there’s any wisdom I can send to other borrowers who have to go through the same thing. In Part 1 of this series, I tried to obtain from the Dept. of Education the month that I would have to re-certify. That was a fun experience (that’s sarcasm).
In Part 1, I described the conflicting information I got from the Dept. of Education regarding whether or not I would receive a notification from them telling me that I needed to re-certify to stay on IBR. I never did receive notification, so, knowing that I had to re-certify in December since I had proactively called them several times over the past few months, I thought it would be time to get the ball rolling, given that it is now early November. I called my loan servicer to figure out what I needed to do. I apparently lucked out and got a customer service representative who was able to email me instructions and blank application forms telling me exactly what to do. Excellent! There’s hope! Maybe! I eagerly completed the Repayment Plan Selection form (selecting IBR, of course) and attached a copy of my 2011 tax return which shows my Adjusted Gross Income (that will be the basis for the IBR calculation). I was told that I did not need to submit the Alternative Documentation of Income form unless I did not file a tax return last year; so, I did not send in this form.
I mailed AND faxed the completed and signed Repayment Plan Selection form with the copy of my tax return to my loan servicer. I’ve already paid my November bill, so we’ll see what December looks like. Stay tuned.