I'm about to pull my hair out.
I have pretty significant student loan debt. It's more than my annual salary. I'm on the income-based repayment plan and I want to stay on the IBR plan, because I work for a non-profit and if I continue to do so, I'll have my debt forgiven after 10 years. The IBR keeps my payments nice and manageable.
I found out today that next year, they'll consider my husband's income as well if we file jointly. He makes more than I do on paper, but since he has more taken out of his paycheck than I do and I have additions to mine (mileage, phone allowance, bonuses), our gross incomes are actually pretty similar. Basically, what's going to happen to my student loan payments at that point is that they're going to double. I can't afford that!
We've discussed finances. For now, we pay all shared expenses jointly and individual expenses separately. My debt is my debt and it's not necessarily fair of me to ask him to shoulder it too. It works for us. However, I guess the government isn't going to see it that way!
HOWEVER...he's going back to school this fall. (He has no student loan debt currently.) If we file separately, he can't claim the lifetime learning credit for himself. I also can't deduct all the student loan interest I'm paying. There are a ton of downsides to filing separately.
I really have no idea how to handle this. Is anyone else in this situation and what do you do???