cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

ICR certification questions/ 9-2019 Update to my loan/plans/etc

Auto Loans for ANY Credit Situation. Immediate Response.
Advertiser disclosure
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

ICR certification questions/ 9-2019 Update to my loan/plans/etc

This is my first year on an IDR payment plan (technically I'm on the ICR plan, but whatever).
I am paying a significantly larger amount towards my student loans than required with the intent of getting this largely paid off in a couple of years, so my principle is much less than it would be.
I know I have to recertify student loans every year to stay on whatever IDR plan,  and I know that if I don't recertify I will go to the standard/10 year payment.   I have a couple of questions about the payment calculations and my google-fu isn't finding what I'm looking for.

If/When I recertify, I know they use my income to calculate my payment, but does the original or expected principle or the new principle get used in those calculations as well?

If I do not recertify, I know the loans will revert to the original 10 year standard payment, but do they use the original/expected principle or the new principle?

I am not concerned with the payment amount; and I don't actually care whether I'm on the standard or IDR (I was required to go to ICR to get out of default).   I just want to know if they recalculate the payment amount using the paid-ahead/down principle under either of these plans.

Oct 2019


Garden goal: keep on keepin' on
Usually a faithful practitioner of AZE5or6or7; working on AZE1or2 and grumbling about it.
Message 1 of 17
16 REPLIES 16
Established Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions

Hi,
For the first part, no. Your payment is based solely on your AGI & household size. The loan amount is mainly only used to determine how long it will take you to pay off the loan or get forgiven (and at what amount). Which if course is flexible due to the annual recertification.

The second question....well, that's a good question. By paying down more than ICR requires, would it be my understanding is that your principal would be less than it started off to be? Would it be lower than it would be if you had been making standard plan payments?
I can't answer for sure. It would all depend on if they would calculate it for a fresh 10 years.
The other factor to take into account is my understand is that you aren't eligible for the standard repayment plan due to the consolidation. The question would be what would they do in this case.
I've also read somewhere I think that the ICR plan is never not than the standard repayment plan payments. So maybe it's a possibility that you still be on the ICR plan but with a standard repayment plan minimum payment amount?
I basically don't have a clue. But I think the Dept of Education should have a solid answer for you and if they don't, Student Loans Hero might be able to long you in the right direction.
One tip about recertification is to do it a couple months early. They don't always remind you and they sometimes take more than a month to process it. You can also recertify at any time, with significant income changes, good for another year.
Sorry I couldn't answer your second question. Hope this helps.



Message 2 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions


@Sabii wrote:
Hi,
For the first part, no. Your payment is based solely on your AGI & household size. The loan amount is mainly only used to determine how long it will take you to pay off the loan or get forgiven (and at what amount). Which if course is flexible due to the annual recertification.

The second question....well, that's a good question. By paying down more than ICR requires, would it be my understanding is that your principal would be less than it started off to be? Would it be lower than it would be if you had been making standard plan payments?
I can't answer for sure. It would all depend on if they would calculate it for a fresh 10 years.
The other factor to take into account is my understand is that you aren't eligible for the standard repayment plan due to the consolidation. The question would be what would they do in this case.
I've also read somewhere I think that the ICR plan is never not than the standard repayment plan payments. So maybe it's a possibility that you still be on the ICR plan but with a standard repayment plan minimum payment amount?
I basically don't have a clue. But I think the Dept of Education should have a solid answer for you and if they don't, Student Loans Hero might be able to long you in the right direction.
One tip about recertification is to do it a couple months early. They don't always remind you and they sometimes take more than a month to process it. You can also recertify at any time, with significant income changes, good for another year.
Sorry I couldn't answer your second question. Hope this helps.

Yes, my principle has been paid down far more than it would have been if I had just done the regular payment under ICR.   I do not know if it would be lower than if I had done the standard, but I expect that it would be.    Since I consolidated out of default, I don't know what my standard payments are/would be.

My only reason for going to standard rather than ICR (I believe I can, I think the servicer mentioned that after a year of payments I should be allowed to change payment plans), is not having to recertify every year.    I am currently 'paid ahead' (they pay the principle down from overpayments, but also push out your payment) until sometime in late 2020 and I was thinking that I can use the paid down/paid ahead to keep an installment open for the <9% installment utilization FICO scoring bump without having to pay much since my APR is so low.  Get it paid down to, say $50 and just let it ride til the 10 or 20 year pay off date.   How recertification or switch to standard is handled might change how I want to play that game Smiley Happy

My consolidated loan was dispersed in Sept and was 30k+  So in less than 7 months, I have paid it down >6k.  At my current payment (lower thanks to my new autoloan), I would be paid off in 02/2022.  I do not qualify for PSLF, so I'm not worried about that.

I tried the studentloans.gov calculator, but it calculates based on the current balance.

sl.png

I guess I'll suck it up and contact my servicer Smiley Wink 

And honestly, if I'm only allowed ICR, I might be that guy that refuses to recertify to see what happens.  I don't think they would re-default me when I'm not only paying on time every month and paid so far ahead, but they probably would definitely not appreciate me playing "what if."

Oct 2019


Garden goal: keep on keepin' on
Usually a faithful practitioner of AZE5or6or7; working on AZE1or2 and grumbling about it.
Message 3 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions

The student loan repayment estimator has two modes: signed in and signed out. If you want to get an estimate for something outside the normal scope, such as a different loan amount (or if one's loans are currently in default, a PLUS loan etc. and won't) then make sure you're signed out and plug in whatever numbers you want to use manually. It's a pain, but it works. 

 

Calyx! You've done so well in paying down your loan and have plans to pay it off in a few years. I have to be honest with you, why are you playing with fire? Lol! All of what you said is very logical and I admit, I'm curious, but all I can think is that you're failing to take into account one thing: servicers have a tendency to mess everything up! Sure, at the end of the day you might have legal recourse, but who wants to clean up that mess? They also have a tendency to make up their own rules or find some obscure one (plus Dept of Education is flaky about being helpful). I would hate for you to be their next victim. Plus, you only have to recertify for another few years. If you step away from the idea that they will put you on a standard repayment plan, given i think I remembered you saying that you no longer are allowed to be on due to consolidation, you'll probably see how badly this might go if they don't have to. I'm also skeptical of most answers the servicer or the Dept of Education gives me when it affects my account. Please think on it. 

 

Regarding preserving the tradeline, I don't think it's worth it. Keep in mind the consolidation reset it anyway. If you don't know the SSL method on here, I think that's what you're looking for. People have been using it to do what you're talking about. The difference being that a SSL with for example Navy Federal wouldn't carry nearly as much risk as continuing to deal with the servicers imo. 

 

Thoughts?

 

 




Message 4 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions


@Sabii wrote:

The student loan repayment estimator has two modes: signed in and signed out. If you want to get an estimate for something outside the normal scope, such as a different loan amount (or if one's loans are currently in default, a PLUS loan etc. and won't) then make sure you're signed out and plug in whatever numbers you want to use manually. It's a pain, but it works. 

 

Calyx! You've done so well in paying down your loan and have plans to pay it off in a few years. I have to be honest with you, why are you playing with fire? Lol! All of what you said is very logical and I admit, I'm curious, but all I can think is that you're failing to take into account one thing: servicers have a tendency to mess everything up! Sure, at the end of the day you might have legal recourse, but who wants to clean up that mess? They also have a tendency to make up their own rules or find some obscure one (plus Dept of Education is flaky about being helpful). I would hate for you to be their next victim. Plus, you only have to recertify for another few years. If you step away from the idea that they will put you on a standard repayment plan, given i think I remembered you saying that you no longer are allowed to be on due to consolidation, you'll probably see how badly this might go if they don't have to. I'm also skeptical of most answers the servicer or the Dept of Education gives me when it affects my account. Please think on it. 

 

Regarding preserving the tradeline, I don't think it's worth it. Keep in mind the consolidation reset it anyway. If you don't know the SSL method on here, I think that's what you're looking for. People have been using it to do what you're talking about. The difference being that a SSL with for example Navy Federal wouldn't carry nearly as much risk as continuing to deal with the servicers imo. 

 

Thoughts?

 

 


You are absolutely right re: playing with fire (and you know I've been burnt before, haha, but at least not always of my own doing).    I have a few years to play with these ideas - and who even knows if the system will work the same when it's all said and done.   I know about the SSL, but I think I just like playing with these thought experiments to eliminate extra work on my end.  I do qualify for NFCU, so I could easily use their SSL (assuming it sticks around).   I periodically download my data from the NSLDS, so when I say I was "paid ahead" til late 2020, it got the wheels spinning.   At the end of the day (or the year, rather), I'll just end up recertifying, because I absolutely don't trust any servicers, but I can't help with the "what if's!"  (I work in research, it's my nature!).

Honestly, once I have all of the derogatory information off of my credit report and my FICO scores all get the gain and I see clean reports across the board, you'll probably see me getting a lot more conservative and not wanting to mess up 10 years of work and patience, but I can't help but try to think about tinkering with the system in the meantime Smiley Wink      Being debt free is ultimately more important to me than FICO scoring, but this board has a way of noodling into one's head sometimes.

tl;dr - You are ABSOLUTELY correct, Sabii, but I'm not right in the head Smiley LOL

Oct 2019


Garden goal: keep on keepin' on
Usually a faithful practitioner of AZE5or6or7; working on AZE1or2 and grumbling about it.
Message 5 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions

Your answer had me cracking up.
It was a great idea and I'm cursing you a little because I may never know the answer. But really I think just of the people who hang around here are tinkerers (even if it's just running scenarios in their heads). Some of the best data has come from inquisitive people like you.
Is everything the same on your reports or if TU the most accurate? You could be looking at excellent scores once you get a clean scorecard even if you don't get another loan. Best of both worlds.
I do think it's funny when people compare AZEO vs AZE3 or something. Please do. In the name of science! Now I have to know!
Right in the head.... There is such a thing?

PS. I'm totally asking D of Ed. When my friend gets out of the second default she'll probably need it (not why I'm going to ask, lol!).



Message 6 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions


@Sabii wrote:
Your answer had me cracking up.
It was a great idea and I'm cursing you a little because I may never know the answer. But really I think just of the people who hang around here are tinkerers (even if it's just running scenarios in their heads). Some of the best data has come from inquisitive people like you.
Is everything the same on your reports or if TU the most accurate? You could be looking at excellent scores once you get a clean scorecard even if you don't get another loan. Best of both worlds.
I do think it's funny when people compare AZEO vs AZE3 or something. Please do. In the name of science! Now I have to know!
Right in the head.... There is such a thing?

PS. I'm totally asking D of Ed. When my friend gets out of the second default she'll probably need it (not why I'm going to ask, lol!).

TU has none of the baddies, and is the most accurate.
EX has two of the defaulted loans and one of the loan collection accounts (so three baddies)
EQ has the two defaulted loans and both collection accounts (four baddies) along with a credit card that was closed in 2006, so the Age of Oldest Account is way higher than the other two, which makes things interesting.
By September (if I don't go for EEs, and I won't) - all three will be clean and clear, which is just about the time I recertify, so I'm looking at good scores and I really should leave well enough alone and just play with trying to find any installment loan utilization points. 

Oct 2019


Garden goal: keep on keepin' on
Usually a faithful practitioner of AZE5or6or7; working on AZE1or2 and grumbling about it.
Message 7 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions

For anyone curious - I heard back from my servicer.   It appears I would go back to a standard payment or what the payment would be without my family size/income info, based on the disbursement at the origination of the loan.  It's not a new loan or new term, just the full amount of payments for the original amount for as long as I'm in ICR limbo (I can recertify and get back into the lower payments).   I do not default, reported, or get kicked into a bad place.

More importantly (to me), they start capitalizing the interest... soooo, I guess I'll behave Smiley Wink

And no, I didn't ask or clarify how often it will be capitalized.  I'm already mad at myself for wasting so much time and money on repaying SLs, even 0.01 more because of my own actions is too much for my sanity.

Oct 2019


Garden goal: keep on keepin' on
Usually a faithful practitioner of AZE5or6or7; working on AZE1or2 and grumbling about it.
Message 8 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions

Good to know! That's so odd.

Have you ever thought about doing the Experian boost for extra points?



Message 9 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: IDR certification questions


@Sabii wrote:
Good to know! That's so odd.

Have you ever thought about doing the Experian boost for extra points?

Re: Other objections aside (bank account access, etc), I don't think it would help.   It seems to rely on regular bills (utilities/rent/etc) being paid through your bank account.  I transferred everything to a new bank last year and run everything through credit cards, so there would probably be no bonus to my score with no regular payment history to use.    I funnel extra money to other accounts (maximizing retirements, high interest savings), so if they were looking at how much I "save," it looks like I don't.

Oct 2019


Garden goal: keep on keepin' on
Usually a faithful practitioner of AZE5or6or7; working on AZE1or2 and grumbling about it.
Message 10 of 17
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.