If you’ve been wondering if you’re eligible to have your college loans forgiven under the Student Loan Debt Relief Plan that was announced in August, here’s how you can figure it out.
First things first, though—nothing’s been dished out for relief yet, so don’t worry that you’ve missed anything! The U.S. Department of Education plans to have applications available by the end of October. If you want to get updates about progress on the relief program, and notification of when process opens for applications, visit DOE subscriptions online and sign up for email updates by checking the very top checkbox that says “Federal Student Loan Borrower Updates.” Here the link: https://www.ed.gov/subscriptions.
There are a few different student loan forgiveness programs available. The one that was just announced in August is known as “The Biden-Harris Student Debt Relief Plan” and it is a one-time opportunity to claim student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 by the DOE. As of press time, the last day to apply for relief is Dec. 31, 2023. That gives you plenty of time to apply, but this is definitely something you don’t want to put off.
Important Details About Eligibility
- If you are an individual, your annual income must be below $125,000.
- If you are a married couple or head of household, your income must be below $250,000.
- If you received a Pell Grant in college, you may be eligible for up to $20,000 in relief.
- If you did not receive a Pell Grant, you may be eligible for up to $10,000 in relief.
- The amount of your relief is capped at the amount of your outstanding debt.
- Outstanding balances as of June 30, 2022, from the following type(s) of federal student loans are eligible for relief:
- 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 (includes ED-held or commercially serviced Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, parent PLUS, and graduate PLUS; and Perkins loans held by ED)
If you are not sure which grants and loans you received for college, you will need to create a Federal Student Aid ID online at https://studentaid.gov/. Even if you have never used the web to access your student aid information, the DOE will gather your information into this ID account after you set it up and you will have access to a nice account dashboard with details on the remaining balance on your loans, what/how much was dispersed, the name of your loan servicer, and links to lots more helpful tips and tools.
The very best way to make sure you receive relief if you are eligible, is to submit the application ASAP after it is made available to the public. There is no penalty for applying even if you find out your debt cannot be cancelled under this one-time program.