The application for Federal loan forgiveness was just announced October 17th. In this blog post we will tell you everything you need to know about this debt relief opportunity. We will cover, what federal loan forgiveness is, how much debt is forgiven, who is eligible, what loans are eligible, the application process, and deadlines. This one-time debt relief plan is a great opportunity for those currently affected by federal student loan debt to receive some relief.
What is federal loan forgiveness?
The student debt relief plan provides a one-time debt relief to qualifying students who currently have federal student loans. Many students, including those currently and previously enrolled in college, will be eligible for this one-time relief. The program is now accepting applications through its website, https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application. In this post “student” will refer to the person who holds a federal loan.
What amount is going to be forgiven?
Students who have received federal loans but did not receive a Pell grant are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in debt relief.
Students who have received federal loans and Pell grants are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in debt relief.
Who is Eligible?
Students who are actively enrolled in school, are currently paying on federal loans, in a loan grace period, or defaulting on federal loans, have the opportunity to apply. Additionally, parents with eligible federal loans of their own, including parent Plus loans, can apply for student debt relief, as long as they also qualify financially.
The first step in determining eligibility for this program is to determine if one meets certain income requirements. Students who are not claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns can easily determine if they are eligible to receive this one-time debt relief if they meet any one of the following requirements:
- The student did not file taxes during the 2020 or 2021 year (Did not make enough to have to file)
- The student filed as single and made under $125,000 during the 2020 or 2021 year
- The student was married, filed taxes separately and made under $125,000 during the 2020 or 2021 year
- The student was married, filed taxes jointly and made under $250,000 during the 2020 or 2021 year
- The student filled as head of household and made under $250,000 during the 2020 or 2021 year
Students who are claimed as dependents and parents with student loans are entitled to the same forgiveness options. However, instead of qualifying based on the student’s income, it will be based on the parent or parent’s income instead. The same income requirements listed above apply to parent’s income. For example, a dependent student with loans is eligible for relief if their parents (who file a joint tax return) made under $250,000 in 2020 or 2021.
What loans are eligible?
The next step in determining if a student is eligible for student debt relief is determining if they have a loan that qualifies. Loans that qualify for forgiveness are listed below
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) program loans
- Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program loans held by ED or in default at a guaranty agency
- Federal Perkins Loan Program loans held by ED
- Defaulted loans (including ED-held or commercially serviced Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, parent PLUS, graduate PLUS, and Perkins loans held by ED)
Private loans, such as loans from companies like Sallie Mae, are not eligible for relief under the student debt relief plan.
How do you apply?
Applying for student debt relief is a very simple process. After the student has determined that they, and their loans are eligible for relief, the student should log onto the application website, https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application. The student will then need to fill out some personal information. This includes, the students full name, Social Security number, date of birth, phone number, and email address. After this is filled out, the student will be prompted to read and accept the terms and conditions of the student debt relief plan. Finally, the student is ready to submit their application.
After submitting their application some students may be prompted to follow up with additional information, such as financial documents on parent income if the student filed as a dependent. If any additional information is needed, the applicant will be notified directly by a representative of the student debt relief plan and should not give out information to anyone else regarding their financial documents. Phishing scams are always a potential hazard, so be sure that any additional information goes to legitimate representatives.
What are the deadlines?
Students have until December 31, 2023, to submit their application for one-time federal loan debt relief. We recommend that students get applications in as soon as possible to maximize their opportunity to take advantage of this forgiveness opportunity.