Not everyone has to apply to get a student loan discharged. Nearly 8 million federal borrowers will automatically get relief because they’re enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan; your income information is on file with the Department of Education.
All other borrowers will need to apply.
The Biden administration’s student loan discharge application promises to be a simple form, according to the Department of Education. Eligible borrowers who expect to see their loan balances reduced by up to $20,000 should apply online when available.
To apply, for now, you will not need to upload documents to prove your income.
When does the student loan discharge application open?
Borrowers should expect the debt relief application to be posted online in October, according to the Department for Education. You can sign up to be notified when the app is opened on ed.gov/subscriptions.
If you want to ensure you receive relief before payments restart in January, you must apply in mid-November, according to the department.
The application period is open until December 31, 2023.
Who qualifies for student loan discharge?
There has been confusion about who is and who is not eligible for relief. Here’s a review:
Those eligible for up to $10,000 in aid:
For 2020 or 2021, your income must be less than $125,000 if you file individually or $250,000 if you file jointly.
He did not receive a Pell Grant during college.
Have direct undergraduate loans; Direct Graduate Loans; PLUS loans for parents; PLUS Graduate Loans; government-owned Perkins loans or government-owned loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program, or FFELP.
Your loans must have been disbursed by June 30, 2022.
Those eligible for up to $20,000 in aid:
The above requirements except not receiving a Pell Grant.
Only undergraduate debt is eligible for the additional $10,000 cancellation.
Those not eligible for relief:
Have private student loans.
Have business FFELP loans. However, those who applied to consolidate their debt before September 29, 2022 would qualify.
How to opt for student debt relief
Those who are eligible for relief can automatically opt out. At the moment, it is not clear how to opt out, but the Department of Education is expected to publish more information on this.
Why would someone choose not to receive relief? Well, some borrowers oppose the debt cancellation move. Others may be concerned about their personal tax implications. While there is no federal tax on the relief, the amount canceled may be taxed as income by some states, including Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
How will I know when the cancellation has occurred?
Expect to receive relief within six weeks, according to the Department of Education. You will be notified through your administrator. Monitor your loan account through your servicer or at studentaid.gov.
Why can’t I contact my administrator?
The Department of Education is processing and processing cancellation requests, not the company that manages your loans.
You may have questions about the status of your canceled debt. If you call your servicer, you’ll be in a long line: Millions of borrowers have changed servicers, are planning next paybackor are arranging payments that qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Your only option? Wait on hold, or wait to be notified.
What happens if I get a call about student debt relief?
Any unsolicited call you receive about cancellation is likely a scam. The scams have proliferated since President Joe Biden’s announcement of the loan cancellation, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The Department of Education or your administrator will not call you to request debt relief. If you have any questions about a call you receive, hang up and contact your administrator. If you have concerns about an unsolicited text message related to paying off a student loan, don’t respond. And never give your student financial aid ID, account number or password to anyone.
What about all those lawsuits?
multiple challenges to Biden’s executive order to cancel student debt have come to light in recent weeks. Among those targeting the cancellation effort are state attorneys general, as well as local individuals and associations backed by law firms. If any of the challenges are deemed viable, the cancellation could be delayed or stopped.
While the lawsuits are pending, the Biden administration says it won’t deliver any cancellations until after October 17.