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Spouse and I Have Different Training Periods: REPAYE vs Refi

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  • Spouse and I Have Different Training Periods: REPAYE vs Refi

    Hi all,
    I know this forums is inundated with posts like this, but my digging didn't help too much and I'm just now really starting to figure out my future financial situation after putting it off throughout medical school. Stupid of me, I know. But help is very much appreciated

    Need some advice on the best way to tackle my (overwhelming) loan amount. Specifically regarding REPAYE vs PAYE vs refinancing.


    I will be getting married in May. My future spouse and I will have a combined debt of approximately ~680K (both in medicine/related). My loans with current accrued interest are around 430K, while my spouse will have around 250K. My loan amount is bringing this up as I have some undergrad loans and went to a private, costly med school.

    I’m going into Radiology, my spouse will be going into podiatry. My training is 6 years including Prelim year (which I'm almost done) and fellowship. Hers is 3 years, and she starts her residency this July 2022. So she will be making attending money for 2 years before I do.

    Our combined income as attendings, assuming I go into private practice (thus deferring the PSLF route) would probably be somewhere between 600-700K annual assuming the market demand stays the same as it is now for Radiologists. Could be higher. Broken down, I would expect to make at least 450k and she would make 200K annually.

    I haven’t started any loan payments yet. Waiting until May to milk the 0% interest.

    My ideal situation would be to pay off our loans as aggressively as possible the first few years of attending life while living more frugally.

    I know REPAYE forgives part of the monthly interest accrued throughout residency. Starting June/July, we probably will be paying a combined household amount of $800 a month through REPAYE until the end her training. Once she starts making attending salary for those 2 years that I’m still in training, that number would probably go up to 2-3K a month through REPAYE. Our household income would probably be 275-280K for those 2 years.

    Is it wise to just do REPAYE until I’m done with fellowship, and then refinance the loans and pay off aggressively? Or just go for refinancing off the bat this May and pay the $100/mo until she’s done and then go to a traditional repayment option? I think the monthly loan repayment in that case would be pretty significant even on a $275K salary for those 2 years. Basically I’m trying to figure out when to switch to refinancing, if ever, from REPAYE.

    Also something I’m in need of advice for: is it better to file jointly or separately in my case? If we file separately then she would be able to start paying off her loans properly while I'm still on income based repayments for those 2 years. Not sure what to do.

  • #2
    Bump, any help is greatly appreciated!

    Comment


    • #3
      I can’t help, but if you don’t get a reply try a private message to Andrew StudentLoanAdvice Here is a related post he did and he has contact info at the bottom. https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/st...filing-status/

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Brill4 View Post
        Hi all,
        I know this forums is inundated with posts like this, but my digging didn't help too much and I'm just now really starting to figure out my future financial situation after putting it off throughout medical school. Stupid of me, I know. But help is very much appreciated

        Need some advice on the best way to tackle my (overwhelming) loan amount. Specifically regarding REPAYE vs PAYE vs refinancing.


        I will be getting married in May. My future spouse and I will have a combined debt of approximately ~680K (both in medicine/related). My loans with current accrued interest are around 430K, while my spouse will have around 250K. My loan amount is bringing this up as I have some undergrad loans and went to a private, costly med school.

        I’m going into Radiology, my spouse will be going into podiatry. My training is 6 years including Prelim year (which I'm almost done) and fellowship. Hers is 3 years, and she starts her residency this July 2022. So she will be making attending money for 2 years before I do.

        Our combined income as attendings, assuming I go into private practice (thus deferring the PSLF route) would probably be somewhere between 600-700K annual assuming the market demand stays the same as it is now for Radiologists. Could be higher. Broken down, I would expect to make at least 450k and she would make 200K annually.

        I haven’t started any loan payments yet. Waiting until May to milk the 0% interest.

        My ideal situation would be to pay off our loans as aggressively as possible the first few years of attending life while living more frugally.

        I know REPAYE forgives part of the monthly interest accrued throughout residency. Starting June/July, we probably will be paying a combined household amount of $800 a month through REPAYE until the end her training. Once she starts making attending salary for those 2 years that I’m still in training, that number would probably go up to 2-3K a month through REPAYE. Our household income would probably be 275-280K for those 2 years.

        Is it wise to just do REPAYE until I’m done with fellowship, and then refinance the loans and pay off aggressively? Or just go for refinancing off the bat this May and pay the $100/mo until she’s done and then go to a traditional repayment option? I think the monthly loan repayment in that case would be pretty significant even on a $275K salary for those 2 years. Basically I’m trying to figure out when to switch to refinancing, if ever, from REPAYE.

        Also something I’m in need of advice for: is it better to file jointly or separately in my case? If we file separately then she would be able to start paying off her loans properly while I'm still on income based repayments for those 2 years. Not sure what to do.
        I would argue with that much training you should still go with plsf. Your loan repayments cap at the ten year mark anyway.

        a strategy that is recommend by a couple student loan gurus is to file taxes separately and earn a more favorable paye/repay and then amend your tax return once that tax return is done being used to filing jointly. If you can stomach losing 70-100 k for a year in taxes , it could safe you thousands in student loans. At an income of 500k I think your take home would be 2000-3000 less a check but you’d eventually get it back

        Comment


        • #5
          With you being so early on in training I would keep PSLF as an option. You should start with REPAYE for now at least until your spouse finishes training or you decide what type of practice you'll join as an attending.

          -You'll want to switch into the PAYE plan before your spouse becomes an attending if you are still considering PSLF. This gives you a number of benefits such as payment cap and the ability to file taxes MFS and exclude your spouse's income from your payment calculation.
          -If you decide to go private practice after training then refinance at that point, and make sure you are firm about the decision. Just know that if you refinance you can't go back to IDR, PSLF and the other federal protections.
          Helping student loan borrowers manage their student loans. StudentLoanAdvice.com. [email protected]

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Andrew StudentLoanAdvice View Post
            With you being so early on in training I would keep PSLF as an option. You should start with REPAYE for now at least until your spouse finishes training or you decide what type of practice you'll join as an attending.

            -You'll want to switch into the PAYE plan before your spouse becomes an attending if you are still considering PSLF. This gives you a number of benefits such as payment cap and the ability to file taxes MFS and exclude your spouse's income from your payment calculation.
            -If you decide to go private practice after training then refinance at that point, and make sure you are firm about the decision. Just know that if you refinance you can't go back to IDR, PSLF and the other federal protections.
            Thanks for your response, Andrew!

            So it seems the best option would be to files taxes jointly and go for REPAYE until my spouse is about to become an attending, and switch to MFS/PAYE.
            My only concern is how much higher my monthly payments will be with dual incomes being used for REPAYE calculations. Does the interest subsidy still offset this increase in monthly payments in comparison to something like MFS/PAYE?

            Comment


            • #7
              Your monthly payments while you are BOTH in training will be very similar in PAYE and REPAYE even if you do PAYE MFS. And the interest subsidy really won't make much of a difference particularly if you end up doing PSLF. When your wife graduates training and you still have a couple more years in training, you'll probably want to switch from REPAYE to PAYE and begin filing taxes married filing separately. There will be a big difference in monthly payments at that time depending on what your wife does.

              Most podiatrists I've worked with will work in private practice and just refinance their student loans.
              Helping student loan borrowers manage their student loans. StudentLoanAdvice.com. [email protected]

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Andrew StudentLoanAdvice View Post
                Your monthly payments while you are BOTH in training will be very similar in PAYE and REPAYE even if you do PAYE MFS. And the interest subsidy really won't make much of a difference particularly if you end up doing PSLF. When your wife graduates training and you still have a couple more years in training, you'll probably want to switch from REPAYE to PAYE and begin filing taxes married filing separately. There will be a big difference in monthly payments at that time depending on what your wife does.

                Most podiatrists I've worked with will work in private practice and just refinance their student loans.

                Do you mind clarifying how payments would be similar with REPAYE vs PAYE/MFS? I was under the impression that 10% of discretionary household will be the payment amount for REPAYE, as opposed to 10% of my sole income for PAYE/MFS? I’m making around 70K this year with my wife making 55K+.

                Comment


                • #9
                  10% of 120k is basically the same in REPAYE and PAYE MFS when you both have Federal Loans. You and your wife would make payments based on 10% of your individual discretionary income in PAYE if you file MFS.

                  It starts to get vastly different though if your wife private refinances.
                  Helping student loan borrowers manage their student loans. StudentLoanAdvice.com. [email protected]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Andrew StudentLoanAdvice View Post
                    10% of 120k is basically the same in REPAYE and PAYE MFS when you both have Federal Loans. You and your wife would make payments based on 10% of your individual discretionary income in PAYE if you file MFS.

                    It starts to get vastly different though if your wife private refinances.
                    Let me get this straight. The 10% of 120K will be distributed to BOTH mine and my wife’s payment if we both go REPAYE? Like part of it to mine and part of it to my wife’s?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes. If you are both in REPAYE here's how they will calculate your payments.
                      1.) They will look at household income which is 120k. I'd estimate your household monthly payment at a household size of 2 at ~$782.
                      2.) They look at who owes federal student loans. Since you both do, they will allocate the monthly payment to your student loans based on your percentage of household federal student debt.
                      You (430k/680k) 63% * $782 = $493
                      Wife (250k/680k) 37% * $782 = $289
                      Helping student loan borrowers manage their student loans. StudentLoanAdvice.com. [email protected]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Andrew StudentLoanAdvice View Post
                        Yes. If you are both in REPAYE here's how they will calculate your payments.
                        1.) They will look at household income which is 120k. I'd estimate your household monthly payment at a household size of 2 at ~$782.
                        2.) They look at who owes federal student loans. Since you both do, they will allocate the monthly payment to your student loans based on your percentage of household federal student debt.
                        You (430k/680k) 63% * $782 = $493
                        Wife (250k/680k) 37% * $782 = $289

                        I see, now I understand. I've spent hours reading through student loan resources and guides but surprisingly not too much information on how REPAYE works on a two resident salary with 2 loans.

                        Lastly, I am in the process for applying for REPAYE now. I am seeing on the IBR forms that they use the PRIOR tax year for payment calculations. In 2021 both my wife and I filed taxes separately (we weren't married yet) and I only made half of my income since I was a medical student for half of the year. My wife didn't have taxable income ($0), and in 2022 she will only make money for the second half of the year. Our combined taxable income in the year of 2021 was something like ~$29k.

                        How does this affect our monthly payments for this year? The IBR form only asks if there has been a significant decrease in our salaries from last year to this year, which there has not. But there has been a significant increase.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Did you read this article? This is a great guide for married couples considering repayment plans and taxes.

                          Your payments will be separate since you were single last year. Your payments in REPAYE will solely be based on your income. Your wife's payments if she's on REPAYE will be based solely on her $0 of income.

                          REPAYE Monthly Payment Estimate
                          You - $72
                          Wife - $0
                          Helping student loan borrowers manage their student loans. StudentLoanAdvice.com. [email protected]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Andrew StudentLoanAdvice View Post
                            Did you read this article? This is a great guide for married couples considering repayment plans and taxes.

                            Your payments will be separate since you were single last year. Your payments in REPAYE will solely be based on your income. Your wife's payments if she's on REPAYE will be based solely on her $0 of income.

                            REPAYE Monthly Payment Estimate
                            You - $72
                            Wife - $0

                            Yes it was a great article to clarify things.

                            I’m just having a hard time with filling out these loan repayments applications online due to semantics. For example, it asks if we’re married currently, but then gives the option to put files taxes separately. It did not specify that if I was single last year to put single on the application.

                            And it’s hard to tell if it’s asking for our current year salaries or last years salaries.

                            I’m assuming if I put both of us as single as you recommended that could get us into a lot of trouble ?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You are supposed to fill out information accurately. You can be married now but have filed single last year and have your payments based on last year when you were single. You shouldn't mark single on the form as your current marital status since you're married.

                              I'd suggest looking at the paper income driven repayment certification form. It allows you to see all of the questions required.

                              If you're still struggling, I'd suggest at this point meeting with a professional at studentloanadvice.com to craft your optimal plan.
                              Helping student loan borrowers manage their student loans. StudentLoanAdvice.com. [email protected]

                              Comment

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