‘Family size’ in income-driven repayment plans isn’t just about the number of people living under your roof. It includes you and your children (even those expected to be born within the year you’re certifying your family size) — as long as they rely on you for more than half their support.
Here’s how different plans see it:
For Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Income-Based Repayment (IBR), and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) plans, your spouse always counts in the family size.
For the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plan, your spouse is part of the family size unless their income is not considered in your payment calculation.
And there’s more. Your family size may also include others if they live with you, currently receive over half of their support from you, and will continue to do so for the year you’re certifying your family size.
Related: Does Income-Based Repayment Include Spouse’s Income?
What counts as ‘support’? It covers a wide range from money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothes, and car expenses to medical and dental care and college costs.
Remember, the number for your ‘family size’ could differ from the number of exemptions you claim for tax purposes.