Is income-based repayment right for you?

If you are about to graduate, the biggest financial decision ahead of you – will be what to do about your student loans.
Before you settle on a loan repayment program, you’ll need to understand if you operate at a cash surplus or deficit, This requires understanding all of your monthly expenses.  Once you know that, you’ll be able to plug in the potential loan payments and see what will work best for your specific situation.

The importance of timely annual income certification for students loans

Perhaps you are a dental school graduate with large sums of debt and you find yourself with no choice but to enroll in an income-based repayment program for your federal student loans. In many cases this could cause your payment to drop from around $5,000 a month to under $1,000. The difference in your payment typically causes unpaid interest to accumulate separate from your outstanding principal (the amount you originally borrowed).

Your annual interest is based on your outstanding principal. So if you borrowed $450,000 of student loans and your interest rate is 6.5%, your annual interest is $29,250. If five years has gone by and you accumulated $100,000 in outstanding interest, you are still only being charged based on your original principal amount.

Interest capitalization and taxable forgiveness: two things you must understand if you have student loans

A lack of understanding regarding these two facets of student loans can have a significant impact on your wealth. Let’s start with interest capitalization. When you borrow money, you have to pay for the use of that money. It’s called interest. Interest is usually charged as a percentage of your outstanding principal.

Second is taxable forgiveness. When you get to year 20 (under the PAYE plan), any outstanding debt gets forgiven. Throw a party because that’s really great. But… there’s a catch. All of that debt forgiveness is considered taxable income.

Personal finance in the digital age

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 4.52.29 PMWatch the video in this post from Ryan Schulte, a partner in financial advising from Envision Wealth Group. Ryan has been working with dental students and dentists for many years. He says one of the biggest things people are noticing across the country is the mess being made from lack of personal financing. Budgeting is important! The digital age makes it too convenient to venmo your friends, set “auto-reload” to your Starbucks account app, or buy pretty much anything by synching your credit card with the Target app. On average, people are only saving 3-4% of their income. We should be aiming for around 15-20% in savings. Shocking, but with hard work and dedication, you’ll be happy you did!