Beginning in October millions of Americans will be able to apply for student loan forgiveness that will cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans as part of the new Student Loan Debt Relief Plan.
What You Need to Know
An online form will be available in early October 2022. Here are some steps you can take to prepare.
Step 1: Check to see if you’re eligible.
Your eligibility is based on your income and the type of loan that you received. You’re eligible for student loan debt relief if your annual federal income was below $125,000 (individual or married, filing separately) or $250,000 (married, filing jointly or head of household) in 2021 or 2020.
- $20,000 in debt relief: If you received a Pell Grant in college and meet the income threshold, you’ll be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt relief.
- $10,000 in debt relief: If you did not receive a Pell Grant in college and meet the income threshold, you’ll be eligible for up to $10,000 in debt relief.
Step 2: Prepare.
Here’s what you can do to get ready and to make sure you get our updates:
- Log in to your account on StudentAid.gov and make sure your contact info is up to date. They will send you updates by both email and text message, so make sure to sign up to receive text alerts.
- Tip: If it’s been a while since you’ve logged in, or you can’t remember if you have an account username and password (FSA ID), here is where you can learn more about logging in.
- If you don’t have a StudentAid.gov account (FSA ID), you should create an account to help you manage your loans.
- Make sure your loan servicer has your most current contact information so they can reach you. If you don’t know who your servicer is, you can log in and see your servicer(s) in your account dashboard.
Step 3: Submit your application.
The application will be available online in early October 2022.
- You will receive an email from Studentaid.gov when the application is available. You’ll have until Dec. 31, 2023, to submit your application.
How Do I Know If I Ever Received a Federal Pell Grant?
Federal Pell Grants typically are awarded to undergraduate students with low or moderate income. Most borrowers can log in to StudentAid.gov to see if they received a Pell Grant. This information about the aid you received, including Pell Grants, is on your account dashboard and your “My Aid” pages.
Which Loans Are Eligible?
The following types of federal student loans with an outstanding balance as of June 30, 2022, are eligible for relief:
- William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans
- Subsidized loans
- Unsubsidized loans
- Parent PLUS loans
- Graduate PLUS 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 (includes ED-held or commercially serviced Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, parent PLUS, and Graduate PLUS; and Perkins loans held by ED)
Consolidation loans are eligible for relief, as long as all of the underlying loans that were consolidated were first disbursed on or before June 30, 2022.
If you qualify, there are a few dates to be aware of to make sure you receive your loan relief.
- October – An exact date for when that application will open hasn’t been released, but the Department of Education says you can expect it “by early October 2022.” It will initially be an online form, with a paper version being made available “at a future date.”
- November 15th – To receive your student loan forgiveness before the payment pause ends the Education Department recommends applying for relief before November 15. Doing so will ensure you receive your loan discharge before regular payments resume and interest begins accruing again.
- January 1st, 2023 – If your entire loan balance won’t be erased, come January 1, 2023, interest will begin accruing again, and regular payments will resume.
- December 31st, 2023 – As of now, you have until the end of 2023 to apply for this one-time student loan forgiveness, according to the Department of Education.
Once you apply for student loan forgiveness the process is expected to take 4 to 6 weeks for the borrowers to receive the relief.
Beware of Scams
You might be contacted by a company saying they will help you get loan discharge, forgiveness, cancellation, or debt relief for a fee. You never have to pay for help with your federal student aid. Make sure you work only with the Department of Education and their trusted partners, and never reveal your personal information or account password to anyone.
Student loan forgiveness isn’t a simple process and there is bound to be some confusion. Stay as up-to-date as possible by signing up for text and email alerts at Studentaid.gov.
Until next time,