#1 Student Loan Lawyer
Updated on December 30, 2022
The easiest way to apply for income-driven repayment is on the Federal Student Aid site, StudentAid.gov. After you log in with your FSA Id, you’ll be able to complete the IDR application. You’ll also be able to use the IRS’s data retrieval tool to pull the adjusted gross income from your tax return into your application so your servicer can calculate your monthly payment.
If you’d rather use a paper request form, you can mail the completed application to each student loan servicer you have loans with. The application process is slower when you mail the paperwork, but it should still be complete within 6-8 weeks.
* The U.S. Department of Education is reviewing federal student loan borrowers’ accounts to give them credit towards IDR Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness for past deferment, forbearance, and repayment periods. The department is starting with borrowers’ who applied for the PSLF Waiver. It expects to finish this one-time account adjustment by July 1, 2023. Read more about the IDR Waiver.
Mailing addresses for IDR application
AidvantageAidvantage – Federal Student Aid Loan Servicing
PO Box 300001
Greenville TX 75403-3001
633 Spirit Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63005-1243
Attn: Enrollment Processing
P.O. Box 82565
Lincoln, NE 68501-2565
EdFinancialEdfinancial Services – Direct Loans
P.O. Box 36008
Knoxville, TN 37930-6008 Edfinancial Services – FFEL Loans
Knoxville, TN 37930-6014
Great LakesGreat Lakes
PO Box 7860
Madison, WI 53707-7860
P.O. Box 18475
Oklahoma City, OK 73154-0475
P.O. Box 9500
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9500
AESAmerican Education Services
P.O. Box 2461
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2461
Can I fax my income-driven repayment plan request?
Yes, you can send the IDR plan request form via fax to your servicer.
Here are the fax numbers for the servicers:
Aidvantage – 1-866-266-0178
AES – 1-717-720-3916
EdFinancial – 1- 800-887-6130
Great Lakes – 1-800-375-5288
MOHELA – 1-888-866-4352
Navient – 1-800-848-1949
Nelnet – 1-877-402-5816
OSLA – 1-855-813-2224
What to gather before applying?
Before you complete the IDR request form, take time to gather a few documents. Here’s what you’ll need:
Your phone number, email, and mailing address.
Your income information and proof of your spouse’s income, depending on your marital status.
You’ll also want to check the type of loans you have so you know which IDR plan to choose. For example, if you have a Parent PLUS Loan, you can’t repay it under the Income-Based Repayment, Pay As You Earn, or Revised Pay As You Earn plans. Your only option is the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan.
Note: You’ll need to consolidate your Parent PLUS Loans before you meet the eligibility requirements for ICR.
Similarly, if you have FFEL Loans, the REPAYE and PAYE plans are off-limits, but you can switch to the IBR plan.
What documents are needed for income-driven repayment?
You can use your most recent federal income tax return from the past two years or a pay stub or letter from your employer listing your gross pay. Write on your income documentation how often you get paid, for example, “twice per month” or “every week.”
If you’re a 1099 contractor or are self-employed, you can write a letter listing your gross income for the current month.
Most people won’t need to recertify until late 2023
Recertification is on hold for Ed-owned student loans until six months after the payment pause ends. If you want to recertify before then — say to get a lower monthly payment amount to buy a home — you can self-report your current income. This means you can just call your student loan servicer, tell them your taxable income from all sources, and avoid having to submit proof of income from your tax return, pay stub, and so on.
Related: When to Recertify Income-Based Repayment
If you have privately-held federal student loans — i.e., loans you had to keep paying throughout the pandemic — you’ll need to submit your income information and family size before your recertification deadline. If you miss that date, your payment amount will no longer be based on your discretionary income. Instead, it will increase to what it would be under the Standard Repayment Plan, which, depending on your total student loan debt, could stick you with a four-figure bill.
Keep in mind that if you consolidate your Federal Family Education Loans or Perkins Loans, the new Direct Consolidation Loan will qualify for the moratorium on student loan payments and interest.
Contact your servicer if you need help applying
Your servicer can help you complete the IDR form. You can also contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or check the Education Department’s FAQ page.
If you have privately-held FFEL Loans, reach out to your servicer, lender, or guaranty agency.
IDR plans are a terrific long-term student loan repayment program that delivers affordable payments and loan cancellation after 20-25 years. You can complete an IDR Request Form online or submit a paper application to your loan servicer.