Ameritech Financial Ensures Timely IBR Recertification While IRS Data Retrieval Tool is Offline

​The IRS data retrieval tool has been down since March, but the IRS says it will be up soon for those needing to submit certification to stay on federal student loan income-based repayment plans. Ameritech Financial, a document preparation company, assures all new and existing clients that they will continue to do everything they can to make sure they are in repayment plans that align with their individual financial needs.

“It’s troubling that such a useful tool is down,” said Tom Knickerbocker, Executive Vice President of Ameritech Financial. “That doesn’t change our ability to offer services though. We have always and will continue to make sure our clients on income-based repayment plans have the best chance of staying enrolled in those plans when they contact us during re-certification time.”

We have always and will continue to make sure our clients on income-based repayment plans have the best chance of staying enrolled in those plans when they contact us during re-certification time.

Tom Knickerbocker,
Executive Vice President

The IRS data retrieval tool was first introduced in the 2010–11 academic year. To apply for federal student aid or to enroll in an income-based repayment (IBR) plan for federal student loans, borrowers need to provide income information, which is most easily provided via tax returns that are already on file with the government. The IRS data retrieval tool simply grabbed the appropriate tax forms and imported the information straight into the form (either FAFSA for students or IBR certification form for borrowers).

In March the IRS shut down the retrieval tool system after it detected suspicious activity. It’s unquestionably necessary for this tool to be completely secure as it handles sensitive personal data. But without the tool it is much more difficult and time consuming to gather the information, and many students and borrowers risk missing important deadlines.

Considering more than half of borrowers on IBR plans miss their deadline to recertify (according to the Department of Education in 2015, 57 percent of people on IBR plans missed their deadline), it’s especially troubling that the tool that made it a little easier is not currently available to borrowers. Fortunately, James Runcie, the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer stated that they plan to have the tool restored for IBR recertification by May 31 of this year.

“It’s comforting to know that the tool will be back up for borrowers to use for IBR recertification,” says Knickerbocker, “but that doesn’t address the larger issues. We hear stories of borrowers who didn’t get notified of a recertification deadline at all. Some borrowers even submit everything on time, but it still doesn’t get processed by the deadline.”

When a borrower misses the recertification deadline, their repayment plan reverts to the standard plan, and the interest that accrued but was ignored while on the IBR plan gets capitalized. For borrowers whose IBR payments are lower than the monthly interest, the loan balance doesn’t go down but interest continues to add up. If they miss the recertification deadline, all that extra interest gets added to the total loan amount. The resulting monthly payment amounts are then higher than when the borrower originally enrolled in the IBR plan.

“At Ameritech Financial, we make sure our clients never miss a recertification deadline once they have engaged us with this important task,” assured Knickerbocker. “By default, our system keeps track of when each client needs to recertify. Once we are hired, we make sure to help each client submit the right information on time so none of them are surprised by an unaffordable payment amount from their payment plan reverting back to a standard plan.”

About Ameritech Financial

Ameritech Financial is located in El Dorado Hills, California, right next to the California state capitol, Sacramento. Ameritech Financial has already helped thousands of people with financial analysis and student loan document preparation for federal student loan forgiveness programs offered through the Department of Education.

Each representative on the phone is certified through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) and has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through Americans for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR).

Ameritech Financial prides themselves on their exceptional 24/7 Customer Service.


To learn more about Ameritech Financial, please contact:

Ameritech Financial

1101 Investment Blvd Ste. 290

El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


Source: Ameritech Financial