Update on the U.S. Department of Education Student Debt Relief Plan
This summer, President Biden announced his Administration's plan to provide student debt relief to eligible borrowers and give working and middle-class Americans more breathing room. The application is now LIVE and will remain open until December 31, 2023.
Under the one-time student loan cancellation initiative which was announced in August, borrowers may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 in relief for their government-held federal student loans. To qualify, you must have earned under $125,000 in income (AGI), or less than $250,000 if you are married, in either 2020 or 2021. If you are a dependent student, your eligibility is based on your parental income.
What you might be eligible for
- Up to $20,000 in debt relief if you received a Pell Grant in college
- Up to $10,000 in debt relief if you didn’t receive a Pell Grant
Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS, and Graduate PLUS loans held by ED are eligible. Consolidation loans are also eligible for relief, as long as all of the underlying loans that were consolidated were ED-held loans and were disbursed on or before June 30, 2022. Additionally, consolidated loans comprised of any FFEL or Perkins loans not held by ED are also eligible, as long as the borrower applied for consolidation before Sept. 29, 2022. Private loans are not eligible for debt relief.
How it works
The application is available in both English and Spanish. The application period will run from October 2022 through Dec. 31, 2023.
- It’s short, simple, and is available online at a .gov URL.
- You don’t need to log in or provide any documents to apply.
- Federal Student Aid will reach out directly once you’ve submitted your application if you need to provide additional information.
- You will be able to fill out the application on both mobile and desktop devices.
During the application, which can be accessed here, borrowers will be prompted to enter basic contact information and personal details, and must certify that they meet the income guidelines. As of now, borrowers will not have to log in or submit any supporting documentation. Once the application is complete, you will receive confirmation of submission (which you should retain for your records).
President Biden also confirmed that the extension of the ongoing payment pause to December 31st, 2022, will in fact be the final extension. This means you should anticipate a return to repayment in January 2023, and are encouraged to review all options with your financial advisor. We can help you understand the best repayment options available from both the government and on the private refinance market.
For more information and FAQs, use this link
To apply for the relief, use this link
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 U.S. Department of Education and their loan servicers, and never reveal your personal information or account password to anyone.
U.S. Department of Education emails to borrowers come from firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Here's a list of Do's and Don'ts to protect yourself against scams as you prepare to apply for debt relief.
- DON'T pay anyone who contacts you with promises of debt relief or loan forgiveness. You will not need to pay anyone to obtain debt relief. The application will be free and easy to use.
- DON'T reveal your FSA ID or account information or password to anyone who contacts you. The Department of Education and your federal student loan servicer will never call or email you asking for this information.
- DON'T ever give personal or financial information to an unfamiliar caller. When in doubt, hang up and call your student loan servicer directly. You can find your federal student loan servicer's contact information at Studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/servicers.
- DON'T refinance your federal student loans unless you know the risks. If you refinance federal student loans eligible for debt relief into a private loan, you will lose out on important benefits like one-time debt relief and flexible payment plans for federal loans.
- DO create an FSA ID at Studentaid.gov. You will not need it for the debt relief application but having an FSA ID can allow you to easily access accurate information on your loan and make sure FSA can contact you directly, helping you equip yourself against scammers trying to contact you. Log in to your current account on StudentAid.gov and keep your contact info up to date. If you need help logging in follow these tips on accessing your account.
- DO make sure your loan servicer has your most current contact information. If you don't know who your servicer is, you can log into StudentAid.gov and see your servicer(s) in your account.
- DO report scammers to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.