IDR One Time Adjustment Will Lead to Loan Forgiveness

IDR One Time Adjustment Will Lead to Loan Forgiveness


The Biden administration announced the IDR Account Adjustment last year, a one-time fix that will allow the Education Department to give retroactive credit toward student loan forgiveness under Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plans. 


Even if they have been repaying their student loans according to a different plan, the Education Department will give borrowers time toward 20-year or 25-year terms of student loan forgiveness under income-driven repayment (IDR) plans under the initiative, which the administration is calling the IDR Account Adjustment. 


 Key Points: 


  • Brief overview of the IDR Account Adjustment by the Biden administration 

  • Explanation of the broadened eligibility requirements 

  • Eligibility for the IDR Account Adjustment through Direct Consolidation Loan 

  • Explanation of the impact on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program 

  • Details of the improvements aimed at addressing payment counting errors 

  • Credit for overdue, partial, and lump sum payments with certification of eligible employment 

  • Credit for deferment or forbearance periods with proof of acceptable employment 

  • Final regulations released and in effect on July 1, 2023 


Federal student loan borrowers who want to manage their debt based on their income and family size frequently choose income-driven repayment plans. As they provide loan forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of making payments under an IDR plan, these plans are especially appealing to people who are having a hard time making their monthly payments. 

The Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Account Adjustment is a one-time initiative by the US Department of Education that aims to provide retroactive credit toward loan forgiveness under IDR plans. The eligibility requirements have been broadened by the new guidance to cover a wider range of repayment periods, including all months in a repayment status, irrespective of payments made or loan type.


Additionally, any time spent in a hardship situation, in the military after 2013, or in any deferment (aside from while in school) before 2013, will now be taken into account when calculating loan forgiveness. This update will give many borrowers a much-needed financial boost and enable them to make significant progress toward loan forgiveness. 


Parent PLUS borrowers who are on track to receive Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) are now included in the IDR Account Adjustment, which is another significant change. Parent PLUS loans, which are loans given to parents of undergraduate students, are now eligible for the IDR Account Adjustment if they consolidate their debt using the Direct Consolidation Loan program and submit an application for an IDR plan. 


Uncertainty exists regarding the eligibility of Parent PLUS borrowers for the new IDR plan that the Biden administration is currently developing, which may be more cost-effective. However, the IDR Account Adjustment updates offer many struggling borrowers a much-needed lifeline and represent a positive step toward making student loan repayment more manageable and available. 

The IDR Account Adjustment updates provide a wide range of advantages for borrowers of federal student loans, including widened eligibility requirements and the inclusion of Parent PLUS borrowers. These adjustments will give many borrowers a much-needed financial boost and enable them to make significant progress toward loan forgiveness. Consider enrolling in an IDR plan if you are having trouble paying back your federal student loans to see if it would be beneficial for you. 


Most of the department-managed loans will get closer to forgiveness.  


For many borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, this is a significant development because the actions will count toward the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. 

Borrowers with Direct Loans or FFEL Loans will be given credit toward forgiveness. For borrowers who have been having trouble making their payments and have been asking for loan forgiveness, this is a huge victory. Additionally, the Department will grant credit for certain types of forbearance and deferment periods.  


For Borrowers one of the one-time improvements aimed at addressing historical errors in payment counting and loan servicer practices was announced in April 2022. For borrowers who have been dissatisfied with the payment counting process, this is a significant improvement. The following will be given credit by the Department of Education for IDR and PSLF: 

  • Regardless of payment status, any month in repayment status
  • Any month before consolidation that is eligible for repayment, deferment, or forbearance
  • Months spent being patient (12 months consecutive or 36 cumulative)
  • Any month prior to 2013 that was spent in deferment (with the exception of in-school deferment) 

Loan discharges for borrowers who have made 20 or 25 years of payments will begin in November 2022. For borrowers who have been pursuing loan forgiveness for a long time, this is a crucial step. Additionally, in July 2023, the identical payment count treatment will be automatically implemented, giving borrowers assurance that their payments are being correctly counted. 


The Department of Education is working to improve the PSLF regulations over time in addition to the one-time executive actions. With certification of eligible employment, borrowers will be able to obtain credit for overdue, partial, and lump sum payments thanks to the improvements that will be codified in the final regulations. Additionally, with proof of acceptable employment, borrowers will be given credit for any months spent in deferment or forbearance (military service, financial hardship, cancer treatment). On July 1, 2023, these rules will be released and come into force. 


The Biden-Harris Administration’s broader initiatives to help struggling borrowers are included in this most recent round of debt relief. 40 million qualified borrowers will receive $20,000 in debt relief, as President Biden has already announced. Additionally, student loan relief totaling more than $38 billion has already been authorized. 


For borrowers who have been struggling with student loan debt, the U.S. Department of Education’s one-time executive actions and long-term improvements to the PSLF regulations are a huge victory. The IDR and PSLF will be credited to borrowers with Direct Loans or FFEL loans, giving them much-needed relief and a path toward loan forgiveness. Borrowers can take charge of their financial futures and leave their student loan debt in the past by utilizing these advantages and the Department’s suggested steps. 

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