Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The "ha ha" is on me.
I just called Direct Loans to find out why my payment went up over $200/month.
Apparently, when they sent me the notice saying, "We need your 1040 to keep you on this plan," I ignored the notice. Basically, before the notice came in the mail, I went online and re-applied for the same plan. I thought I was being pro-active by doing that. So, when I received my notice, I tossed it since I'd applied already.
If I'd read the notice, however, I would have realized I applied for the wrong plan.
My customer service rep, Dennis, was very nice and explained it happens fairly often since Income-Contingent and Income-Based are so similar. The internal English major in me said, "Yeah, except for the fact they use different words. I should have noticed."
He's going to send me another notice, which I'll reply to this time. He told me to check the box for Income-BASED Repayment. I wrote "IBR" on my notepad and laughed**. No way I can forget that now.
Once I do that, my payments will go from the doomed $347 to $185. Much, much better.
This leaves some wiggle room for braces (no pun intended), but I think I'll still wait until next year when I have the last of my medical bills paid off and I can set up my FSA.
**I do not think IBR is a laughing matter. I am sorry if you suffer from it. It just amuses me that student loans can be associated with digestive issues. How fitting.