Justice

It’s October. Where is the student loan forgiveness application?

Waiting for the student loan debt application is like waiting for a friend to pay back the money they owe you.

Borrowers are now anxiously anticipating the student loan debt application to go live any day this week, especially because The U.S. Department of Education announced in September that it would drop in “early October.”

“We’re trying to give relief to everyday Americans,” Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary stated.

As of August, President Biden plans to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year, and recipients of Pell Grants in college are eligible for up to $20,000 in debt cancellation.

Prepare for the application drop with a few helpful tips below:

What should I know when it becomes available?

  • The U.S. Department of Education has said that the application is short, online and that borrowers “won’t need to upload any supporting documents or use your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to submit your application”
  • But having an FSA ID can be helpful when completing the application. This will give you access to confirm if you have received a Pell Grant in the past, loan servicer(s), types of loans you have and what you owe. The Department of Education has a record of every Pell Grant award
  • Not all borrows will need to submit an application because they will automatically qualify for student loan forgiveness, but to be certain follow email updates from The U.S. Department of Education
  • More than likely, the application will be available through StudentAid.gov

How student loan forgiveness looks different for public service workers and parents:

  • Public service workers like federal, state, local, tribal government, military, or a non-profit organizations with at least 10 years of service (even if not consecutively) may be eligible to have all their debt canceled Deadline to apply: Oct. 31
  • Parents with Parent PLUS loans for their children might also be eligible for debt relief if they meet the income criteria

When is the deadline to apply and how long will it take for the loan forgiveness to reflect on my student loan balance?

  • To ensure your student loan debt balance is either eliminated or reduced before the payment pause resumes on Dec. 31, you need to complete and submit the application before Nov. 15
  • Once the payment pause resumes, interest on your loans will start again
  • After submitting your application, The U.S. Department of Education said “borrows can expect relief” between four to six weeks

Changes from The U.S. Department of Education:

  • Non-federal loans are not eligible for debt relief
  • The U.S. Department of Education said, if you consolidated federal loans into a private non-federal loan, the consolidated private loan is not eligible for debt relief
  • Initially, the administration said that borrowers with privately owned loans could receive up to $10,000 or $20,000 of relief, per Politico
  • Now borrowers can also opt out of automatic relief

How will legal challenges affect student loan forgiveness?

  • Recently Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina filed a lawsuit together aiming to block the debt forgiveness plan
  • They alleged that the program would be an overreach of Biden’s executive powers and argued that it would be financially harmful, reported NBC News
  • The states asked a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order to pause the program
  • Axios reports that an estimated 43 million student borrowers eligible for relief could be stuck in financial limbo if the order becomes involved in drawn-out litigation

To stay informed on when the application goes live, sign up for email updates from the U.S. Department of Education.

Alexis Wray

Alexis Wray | awray@reckonmedia.com

I report on HBCUs and Blackness, working to introduce voices and perspectives of students, alumni and community members that amplify the experiences of Black life on and off campus.

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