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Married with IBR
February 26, 2019
10:58 am

My wife has around 70k in student loan debt and we have been keeping our finances separate in order to allow her to take advantage of low IBR payments and deferment. At this point however, my additional tax burden would cover a large portion of the monthly payment if we combined income so I’m looking to do that now.

What I am needing help with is if there is a way to combine all of those loans into one and negotiate a set monthly amount that we can actually pay since she doesn’t make much annually. Our combined annual income would be approximately 125k in Missouri and from what I understand, the IBR payment would be around 800-900 a month. Any ideas for how to get that down to around 600-700 at most?

February 26, 2019
11:22 am
Forum Posts: 348
Member Since:
May 3, 2014
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Hi Brandon,

I have a couple thoughts.

First, there really isn’t any “negotiating” when it comes to federal loan payments. In my experience the loan services have little flexibility when it comes to payment amounts.

However, there are a couple things you can do. For starters, IBR may not be the best repayment plan available for your wife. IBR charges most borrowers 15% of their discretionary income. If you switch to PAYE or REPAYE, that amount could be lowered to 10% of discretionary income. More about repayment plans can be found here: https://studentloansherpa.com/repayment-plan-options-strategy/

Also, there are a number of tax strategies that you can employ to get the payments a little lower. More on this can be found here: https://studentloansherpa.com/tax-strategy-tips-deduction/

Good Luck!

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