Income Recertification Date Delayed to September for IDR Borrowers

The delay gives federal student loan borrowers an extra six months before they must recertify their income.
portrait of Matthew Arrojas
Matthew Arrojas
Read Full Bio


Matthew Arrojas is a news reporter at BestColleges covering higher education issues and policy. He previously worked as the hospitality and tourism news reporter at the South Florida Business Journal. He also covered higher education policy issues as...
Published on March 7, 2024
Edited by
portrait of Alex Pasquariello
Alex Pasquariello
Read Full Bio

Managing Editor, News

Alex Pasquariello is a senior news editor for BestColleges. Prior to joining BestColleges he led Metropolitan State University of Denver's digital journalism initiative. He holds a BS in journalism from Northwestern University....
Learn more about our editorial process
Image Credit: J. David Ake / Getty Images News
  • The Department of Education delayed the income recertification date for borrowers on IDR plans until September.
  • Borrowers on IDR plans will continue to see lower monthly payments until they are required to recertify.
  • Borrowers previously notified of a March deadline won't see their monthly payments rise, even if they already recertified.

Student loan borrowers on an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan now have an extra six months before their monthly payments will likely rise.

The Department of Education (ED) recently announced that IDR borrowers won't have to recertify their incomes — which essentially means providing their latest income information — until "late September 2024, at the earliest." The department had previously told borrowers that it would require recertification as soon as March 1, 2024, but reversed course in the 11th hour.

"During the COVID-19 payment pause, we paused the requirement for you to provide us with your income and family size information in order to keep your IDR plan up to date," ED said in its announcement. "We've extended this pause as part of our continued support for borrowers as they return to repaying student loans."

Borrowers on an IDR plan, including the new Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, must continue to make payments on their loans.

However, the six-month delay means their payments will likely stay relatively low. That's because IDR plans calculate a borrower's monthly payment based on their annual income. Borrowers haven't had to recertify income since before the pandemic, which means many borrowers on any IDR plan are making payments based on their 2019 income.

Most borrowers will have likely seen their income grow since then, but by not requiring recertification, they won't see monthly payments increase until September.

Student loan experts recommend that if a borrower's income has decreased since the last time they recertified, that borrower should recertify before the deadline.

If your income has risen since before the pandemic, however, it's likely in your best interest to delay recertification as long as possible.

Many borrowers likely received notifications from their loan servicers over the past few months if they previously had a recertification date in March, and many may have already recertified. ED promised to return these borrowers' monthly payments to their previous amount if their payments went up.

If monthly payments decreased or stayed the same, ED won't make any changes.

ED promised to give borrowers a payment pause for March if they were told they must recertify but didn't recertify in time.