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Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Recertification Pause Extended (2024)

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The deadline for updating income and family size information for Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans has been extended.

Previously, borrowers would have had to recertify their income and family size for their IDR payments by March 2024. However, in an announcement posted on March 1, 2024, on, borrowers on Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans will now have until late September 2024, at the earliest, to recertify their income.

This extension of the recertification deadline is part of an ongoing effort to support borrowers as they transition back to repaying student loans.

What is Recertification?

Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans adjust your monthly student loan payment amount based on your income and family size, thereby making loan payments more manageable according to your financial situation.

Because your income and family size can change from year to year, the federal government requires borrowers to submit updated information annually. This process is known as income recertification.

During recertification, borrowers must provide documentation of their current income and family size. Examples include tax returns, pay stubs, or other forms of income proof. An increase in earnings may lead to higher monthly payments, whereas a decrease in earnings or an increase in family size could result in lower payments.

Recertification ensures that your monthly payment reflects your current financial situation. Failing to recertify by the deadline can result in your monthly payment reverting to the amount you would pay under the Standard Repayment Plan, which is usually higher. It could also lead to capitalization of unpaid interest, which increases the total cost of your loan over time.

However, during the pandemic, the requirement for borrowers to recertify their income was paused—a pause that has now been further extended.

Recertification Timeline

The new timeline for recertification will look like this:

Borrowers will be required to recertify their income by late September 2024, at the earliest, and any subsequent changes to payments would not occur before November 2024.

Prior to this date, you will receive notifications from your loan servicer outlining your IDR timeline:

  • 3 months prior to your recertification deadline: Your servicer will reach out to you about recertifying your IDR plan.
  • 35 days before your recertification deadline: Your income and family size information will be due.
  • 10 days before your recertification deadline: Is the last date you can turn in your income documents. If you miss this deadline, you’ll be taken off your IDR plan and your payments will most likely increase.


For example, let’s say your IDR anniversary date is Dec. 1, 2024.

  • 3 months before: Your servicer will contact you about recertifying your IDR plan by September 2, 2024.
  • 35 days before: Your income information will be due by October 27, 2024.
  • 10 days before: The last day to submit your income documents will be November 21, 2024. Failing to meet this deadline will result in your removal from the IDR plan.

Implications for Borrowers:

If your income has decreased, or your family size has changed since you last certified your income, you can still recertify. Remember, even if you aren’t being asked by your servicer to recertify, if your income or family size has changed, you can recertify immediately and/or ask for a plan recalculation.

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If your income has increased since your last recertification, you won't be required to recertify until September 2024, at the earliest. This means you can maintain your lower monthly payment for the foreseeable future.

However, it's important to consider that opting for lower payments might not align with your financial goals. If you’re trying to pay off your student loans, you should evaluate whether the current monthly payment amount is effectively helping you achieve that goal. If not, you may want to consider making your minimum monthly payment and then paying an additional amount towards your highest interest loan.

What if I already recertified my income?

According to the official announcement on

If You Recertified and Your Payment Went Up:

You will be returned to your previous monthly payment amount.

If You Recertified and Your Payment Went Down or Stayed the Same:

No changes will be made to your monthly payment (i.e., you’ll get to keep your new lower payment)

Need help with your Student Loans?

If you need assistance reviewing your loans or are seeking a customized student loan plan, I recommend Student Loan Planner. Everyone at Student Loan Planner holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), or Certified Student Loan Professional (CSLP) designation.

They can help you create a personalized repayment plan based on your individual situation and goals. Student Loan Planner is the only service I recommend for personalized student loan assistance.

As always, this information is for EDUCATIONAL purposes only and should not be taken as advice. Please always conduct your own research.
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