How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness

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Contributor, Benzinga
September 6, 2022

Student loan forgiveness is a hot topic in America today, but loan forgiveness has long been promised to a range of graduates. President Biden proposed federal student loan forgiveness in August 2022 — here’s how can you apply for student loan forgiveness programs, the current parameters for these programs and who can benefit. 

How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Today

According to the Federal Student Aid website, you are required to contact your loan servicer if you believe you qualify for student loan forgiveness. At that point, you follow the servicer’s guidelines to apply for and obtain your loan forgiveness, discharge or cancellation order. 

However, you should continue to make payments until the loan has been forgiven, discharged or canceled. This fact sheet contains more information.

What Types of Loan Forgiveness are Available?

According to studentaid.gov, “in certain situations, you can have your federal student loans forgiven, canceled or discharged.”

What does this mean? You have options if you are paying off student loans. Let’s review the terms “forgiven”, “canceled” and “discharged” in this context.

Forgiven means that you are employed by a government or nonprofit organization that qualifies you for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Read more at studentaid.gov, but in short, you can have your loans forgiven after 10 years if you are working for a qualified employer. 

Teacher loan forgiveness can eliminate up to $17,500 of your student loans if you work five full academic years at a low-income school. 

Biden’s new program offers one-time forgiveness of student loan debt as specified below.

Discharged means that, in most cases, your school closes and you have to withdraw. Cancellation and discharges may also occur if you have a Perkins Loan and meet the requirements of the program.

Discharges may also occur from:

  • Total or permanent disability
  • Death
  • Bankruptcy
  • Borrower defense to repayment
  • False certification from the school
  • Unpaid refunds from the school
  • Forgery of documentation by the school

How Much Student Debt did President Biden Cancel?

On Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, President Biden announced a program that will forgive a broad range of student debt, including:

  • $10,000 in federal student debt for most borrowers
  • Up to $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants

This Student Debt Relief Plan includes one-time student loan debt relief for low- and middle-income families. Relief is limited to individuals earning under $125,000 annually and couples earning under $250,000 annually.

In remarks on the plan, President Biden said that around 95% of borrowers would qualify and around 60% of those will be Pell Grant recipients. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Do PLUS loans qualify for forgiveness?

A

Yes, all loans held by the Department of Education, including PLUS loans, are eligible for student loan forgiveness.

Q

Will private student loans be eligible for forgiveness?

A

No, private student loans are not eligible for forgiveness programs. 

Lend-Grow

Lend-Grow offers 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 25-year student loan refinance terms with fixed rates as low as 2.80% APR and variable rates as low as 1.89% APR. 

Lend-Grow pays down your loan, too — 0.10% APR every month for 3 years! Here’s what this means: Lend-Grow deposits 0.10% APR of your loan amount funded each month for up to 3 years (as long as your account is active) with payback rewards. 

Lend-Grow deposits the payback reward directly to the loan account you specify at the time of Payback Reward enrollment. Payback reward is not a rate discount and you must continue to meet your full payment obligations with the lender each month.

Apply at Lend-Grow today and pay down your loans faster.

About Patton Hunnicutt

Patton Hunnicutt is a contributor and editor at Benzinga. He’s worked for several years on financial content, addressing issues related to personal finance, investments, retirement, and more.