Tips for completing the loan rehabilitation income and expense form

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Here's the pdf download of the Loan Rehabilitation Income and Expense Form. You can read this complete guide to the student loan rehabilitation program to answer your questions. Or if you want expert help, let's chat.

Flat lay of loan rehabilitation income and expense form pdf.

Download: Loan Rehabilitation Income and Expense Form Exp 5/31/2020

What is the Loan Rehabilitation Income and Expense Information Form?

Collection agencies use the Loan Rehabilitation Income and Expense form to calculate an affordable monthly payment for your defaulted loan.

The purpose of this form is to get you an affordable monthly payment for your defaulted loan by calculating your income from all sources minus certain expenses.

The old version of this form was titled “Financial Disclosure for Reasonable and Affordable Rehabilitation Payments”.

There is no private student loan rehabilitation program to get out of default.

How is the monthly payment calculated

No matter if you're trying to get into the rehabilitation program for a Direct Loan, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL Loan), or Perkins loan, there are only 2 ways to calculate your monthly payment:

  1. 15% of your monthly discretionary income (AGI minus 150% of the poverty guidelines for your family size divided by 12) (this may be referred to as the income-based repayment amount)
  2. Comparing your income and expenses using the Loan Rehabilitation: Income and Expenses Form

Almost always, the first option using your discretionary income will give you a monthly payment a lot higher than $5.

If you can’t afford that payment, ask for a payment based on your income and expenses.

When you do that, be prepared for the loan servicer, collection agency, guaranty agency, or loan holder to ask you a bunch of questions about your money and how you spend it.

Why you should pay as a little as possible

The money you pay on a defaulted student loan goes first towards collection fees, then to interest, and then to principal. 

Because of this payment hierarchy, it makes little sense to pay more than the minimum on your defaulted student loans. 

Said differently, you're unlikely to pay down your student loan debt faster by paying an extra $50 or $100 each payment.

How to get the lowest payment amount

When you can’t afford the payment based on your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your tax return and poverty guidelines for your family size, your best bet is to ask for a loan payment based on your income and expenses.

This option can get you into a repayment plan that requires you to make 9 monthly payments of as low as $5.

What household income is included

Your total monthly gross income for the purposes of this form includes:

  • Your employment income
  • Your spouse’s employment income (only if you live together)
  • Child-support and spousal-support payments
  • Social Security benefits
  • Disability payments
  • Workers' compensation payments
  • Vocational rehabilitation payments
  • Public Assistance benefits
  • Unemployment benefits

Basically, you’re expected to include money you get from any source.

You may be asked to provide proof of your income. If that happens, you’re required to provide documents that are less than 90 days old.

Don’t just take your last two pay stubs. Look them over and make sure you don’t have any added income in there you don’t normally get. Things like overtime, bonuses, and travel pay can make it seem like you’re making more money than you actually do. And if that happens, your discretionary income will increase and you can end up with a higher payment than you want.

So if you want the lowest payment amount you can get, make sure you send documents that accurately reflect your income.

What necessary monthly expenses are included

Not all of your monthly expenses are considered when calculating your payment amount.

The U.S. Department of Education, for the most part, doesn’t care about your expenses for credit cards, your child’s private school education, life insurance, your business, etc.

They only care about certain living expenses they deem necessary.

When trying to figure your affordable payment, total monthly expenses include:

  • Food costs (groceries, take-out, PostMates, etc.)
  • Housing (rent, mortgage, maintenance costs, renter’s insurance etc.)
  • Utilities (gas, water, lights, sewage, etc.)
  • Basic Communication (cell phone, landline, cable, internet, etc.)
  • Necessary medical/dental (out-of-pocket expenses, medical expenses, deductibles, insurance not taken out of your check)
  • Necessary insurance (deductible is taken out of your pay stub or that you pay out of pocket)
  • Transportation (car note, gas, auto insurance, public transportation, parking, maintenance, etc.)
  • Child/Dependent care (private school tuition only if it’s court-ordered)
  • Child support/spousal support payments (only if made by court order)
  • Federal student loan payments (including administrative wage garnishment payments).
  • Private student loan payments

The form and the instructions that come with it suggest that other expenses will be considered.

Each category of expenses has a limit on how much they think you should spend on that category. For example, the food budget for a family size of 1 in Orange County, CA could be $200. Where is that $200 limit coming from? While I’m not certain, I’m pretty sure it’s coming from the IRS National Standards.

But in my experience, they never are.

Almost always, you’re stuck making the most of the expenses listed above.

Required Supporting Documentation

Most people will only need to submit 2 recent pay stubs or a tax return with their form. Typically, for most expenses, proof of actual expenses isn’t required.

The expenses you are normally required to provide proof of are for:

  • Necessary medical/dental costs more than $60 per month
  • Out of pocket health insurance costs not taken from your pay stub
  • Child/dependent care costs
  • Child support/spousal support payments
  • Federal student loan payments for loans you’re not rehabilitating
  • Private student loan payments

Where to submit the student loan rehabilitation form

Once completed, you’ll typically send the form back to the collection agency.

Depending on the agency, you can do that by mail, email, fax, upload, or using an e-signature service like DocuSign.

For my clients, I usually just fax the signed form and then call to confirm that it was received.

What happens you submit the form

After you submit the student loan rehabilitation income and expense form with your proof of income, the agency will calculate your monthly payment amount.

From there, the collection agency should send you the Loan Rehabilitation Agreement letter.

That letter will detail the rehabilitation process:

  • You must make 9 voluntary, reasonable and affordable monthly payments within 20 days of the due date during 10 consecutive months
  • Loan Rehabilitation is a one-time thing. Your tax refund may still be taken until you’re decertified for offset
  • You’ll regain eligibility for federal student aid after your 6th payment
  • At the end of the program, you'll regain eligibility for loan forgiveness programs (teacher loan forgiveness, public service loan forgiveness, etc.)
  • You'll regain eligibility for deferments and forbearances
  • The default status will be removed from your credit report after you completed the rehabilitation program; the late payments, however, will remain on your credit history
  • Collection fees will be waived at the end of the program

After you sign and return the letter, call the company you sent the documents to and confirm they received everything and that you're fully enrolled in the rehabilitation program.

I've seen many student loan borrowers have to restart the program because not all their documents were received.

What happens after you complete the loan rehabilitation program?

After your complete the loan rehabilitation program your loan is sent to a new loan servicer and you regain eligibility for:

  • new federal student aid (grants, federal student loans, Direct Consolidation loans, etc.)
  • deferment and forbearance options
  • student loan forgiveness programs
  • repayment plans based on your income

Click here to read more about What Happens After Student Loan Rehabilitation

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