UPDATE: Student Loan Debt Relief Is Currently Blocked
Courts have issued orders blocking the student debt relief program. As a result, at this time, the U.S. Department of Education is not accepting applications. The Biden Administration is seeking to overturn those orders.
If you’ve already applied, the Department of Education will hold your application. Subscribe and check back here for updates.
UPDATE: Student Loan Payment Pause Extended
Payments will resume 60 days after the Department of Education is permitted to implement the student debt relief program or the litigation is resolved, which will give the Supreme Court an opportunity to resolve the case during its current Term. If the student debt relief program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 – payments will resume 60 days after that date. Click here for more information.
Per the U.S. Department of Education as of October 17, 2022 prior to the court orders blocking the student debt relief program
You are eligible if you have most federal loans (including Direct Loans and other loans held by the U.S. Department of Education) and your income for 2020 or 2021 is either:
If you are a dependent student, your eligibility is based on your parental income.
What you might be eligible for:
How the program will work:
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 its loan servicers, and never reveal your personal information or account password to anyone.
U.S. Department of Education emails to borrowers come from email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can report scam attempts to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357 or visit reportfraud.ftc.gov.
As of October 17, 2022
How can a borrower sign up to claim relief? When will the application be available? When does the application close?
Borrowers will have from October 2022 through December 2023 to apply to receive relief.
Borrowers will not need to upload any supporting documents or use their FSA log in information to fill out the application. If the Department of Education needs more information about the borrower to determine their eligibility, they will contact the borrower directly. And, the Department will work with the borrower’s loan servicer or servicers to process the debt discharge.
Will I have to apply or will I get relief automatically?
Most borrowers will need to fill out a short online application to receive relief. Some borrowers who recently filled out a FAFSA application or are part of an income-driven repayment program may be eligible for relief without filling out an application. These borrowers can opt-out if they do not want to receive relief. The Department of Education will provide more information on applicants eligible for relief without applying soon.
How long will it take after a borrower applies to receive relief?
Once a borrower is determined eligible for relief, their information will be sent to their loan servicer who will process their debt discharge. This can take a few weeks.
What if I apply later – can I get refunded for payments made after the pause ends?
Yes. If your payments and the discharged debt total less than $20,000 if you are a Pell Grant recipient or $10,000 if you are not a Pell Grant recipient, you can get a refund.
What can borrowers do to beware of scams trying to take advantage of them?
Borrowers may be contacted by companies trying to get them to pay for help applying for debt relief. No borrower will have to pay for help with federal student aid.
A borrower should only work with the Department of Education and its loan servicers. Borrowers should never share personal information or passwords with others.
Borrowers can report scam attempts to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357 or visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.
Will I have to pay federal taxes?
No borrower will have to pay federal taxes on the amount that is forgiven.
Does broad debt relief impact a borrower’s ability to get Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
No. Borrowers can receive debt relief under the Administration’s plan and also receive Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The Department of Education encourages anyone in federal, state, local, Tribal government, or those working at nonprofits to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness by October 31st of this year to take advantage of the temporary changes the Biden Administration put in place that make it easier to get relief or credit under this program.
Borrowers can also apply for broad debt relief when the application becomes available this October.
Is a borrower who consolidated their loans eligible for debt relief?
Borrowers who applied to consolidate their loans into Direct Loans prior to September 29, 2022 are eligible for debt relief.
Where can I go to find out more information?
Go to StudentAid.gov/debtrelief to find out more about the program and submit your email to get regular updates on how and when you can apply.
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