President Joe Biden canceled $ 1.5 billion in student loans through this program, and you can still apply now.
This is what you need to know.
While Biden has not enacted large-scale student loan cancellation, there is hope that student loan borrowers will obtain student loan forgiveness through borrower advocacy for student loan repayment. Since becoming president, Biden has written off nearly $ 10 billion in student loans. This includes $ 1.5 billion of student loan cancellations for 92,000 student loan borrowers under the borrower defense of the repayment rule. In July, Biden canceled $ 55.6 million of student loans for more than 1,800 student loan borrowers under the borrower defense for repayment. This Obama-era rule is still available now and could help you get your student loans partially or fully canceled. Here’s what you need to know and how to request it:
1. What is the borrower’s defense against repayment?
Under federal law, if your college or university misled you or engaged in other misconduct, you may be eligible for the borrower’s defense for repayment of a student loan. The borrower’s defense of repayment may result in the cancellation of the student loan of some or all of his federal student loan debt. The borrower defense to repayment does not apply to your private student loans.
2. Are all federal student loans eligible for student loan repayment?
No. Only Direct Loan Program loans are eligible for borrower defense against repayment. That means FFELP loans or Perkins loans are not eligible. (If you are not eligible or Biden does not pay off your student loans, do these 3 things.)
3. How do I request the defense of the borrower for repayment?
You can request the defense of the borrower for repayment by completing a Defense of the borrower to the request for repayment Through the US Department of Education, you can apply in one of three ways. You can submit your application by email, submit the application through Federal Student Aid in the US Department, or by mail. The application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. If you have been misled by multiple schools, you must complete an application for each school.
4. Who is eligible to apply for the defense of the borrower for repayment?
Any student loan borrower with Direct Loan Program loans who feels they have been misled by their college or university can apply. This may include acts or omissions of your school.
5. What do I need to request the defense of the borrower for repayment?
To request the borrower defense for repayment, you will need:
- a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID
- name of college or university
- program name, title or course of study
- Dates of attendance
- documentation to support your claim
6. What if I don’t have documentation to support my borrower defense claim for repayment?
Your borrower defense request for repayment can be strengthened if you have documentation to support your claim. This may include promotional materials from the school that include data on employment statistics, income after attendance, or other guarantees or promises, for example. Documentation may also include correspondence you had with the school, which included specific promises that were not kept, or any prior complaints you have made to the school. You may want to include your transcript to prove your attendance. If you don’t have such documentation, you can still apply and share your story.
7. What if I have questions about my borrower’s defense of the request for repayment?
If you have questions about your borrower’s defense of the request for repayment, you can call the Borrower Advocacy Hotline at 1-855-279-6207. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern time. You can also confirm that your request has been submitted successfully.
8. How will I be notified if my student loan cancellation application has been approved?
The US Department of Education will notify borrower defense applicants by email of the Department of Education’s determination regarding the cancellation of student loans based on their specific case. A final determination may include the total cancellation of the student loan or the partial cancellation of the student loan. In some cases, student loan borrowers may also be eligible for a refund of previous student loan payments already made on canceled student loans. (Here’s how to get student loan forgiveness.)
9. Is there an organization that is helping student loan borrowers who have been misled by their college or university?
The cancellation of student loans has come about in part thanks to these heroes. There are also many non-profit organizations that have helped lead the charge and defend the rights of student loan borrowers, including those who have been misled by their college or university. These champion champions are shaping the future of student loans and work tirelessly to ensure student loan borrowers are treated fairly. There are many to acknowledge, but some include the Student Loan Project at Harvard Law School, the Student Debt Crisis, and the Center for Student Borrower Protection, among others.
The Biden administration will continue to cancel student loans under the defense of the borrower until repayment. This is in addition to other student loan cancellations that the Department of Education, headed by Secretary Miguel Cardona, has already completed, including billions of dollars for student loan borrowers with a total and permanent disability. If you are not eligible for any of these student loan cancellations, make sure you understand your other options for student loan repayment. Student loan relief ends in a few months, so be sure to be prepared.
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Disclosure: Zack Friedman graduated from Harvard.