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What You Need To Know About The IDR (Income Driven Repayment) Waiver

Last month we wrote about the “PSLF Waiver” that allowed a one-time recount of qualifying loan payments toward the 10-year forgiveness under the PSLF’s program for those with 10-years of employment with a government (including military) or nonprofit organization.

In addition to the PSLF waiver, there is also an “IDR Waiver.”

Refresher: “IDR” stands for Income Driven Repayment plans and include:

1.           Income Based Repayment (IBR)
2.           Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
3.           Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAY)
4.           Income Contingent Repayment (ICR)

Unlike the PSFL waiver, where action is required by August 31, 2022, action may not be needed to benefit from the IDR Waiver. This waiver is a set of fixes made by the Department of Education for count failures toward the 20-year forgiveness (IBR and PAYE) or the 25-year forgiveness (REPAY). Periods that will now count toward the forgiveness include

  • Any months in which you had time in a repayment status, regardless of the payments made, loan type, or repayment plan. If you have/had FFEL loan payments, those will count toward forgiveness provided you have, or will have, consolidated your loans into a direct loan on www.studentaid.gov prior to 1/1/2023 (potentially later).
  • 12 or more months of consecutive forbearance or 36 or more months of cumulative forbearance toward IDR forgiveness;
  • Months spent in deferment (with the exception of in-school deferment) prior to 2013; and
  • Any time in repayment prior to consolidation on consolidated loans.


Note: Any borrower with loans that have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years will see automatic forgiveness, even if you are not currently on an IDR plan. If you have made qualifying payments that exceed forgiveness thresholds (20 or 25 years), you will receive a refund for your overpayment.

And good news. The Department of Education is attempting to track the number of qualifying payments toward forgiveness directly on studentaid.gov instead of relying solely on the student loan servicers. To say it lightly, the Department of Education isn’t terribly pleased with how the student loan servicers have managed things over the years. Hence the massive shakeup taking place right now among the servicers. Some are leaving the game voluntarily, and some are being fired.

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