Do You Qualify for the DOE’s $8.7B in Student Loan Forgiveness?
Over 8.7 billion dollars (about $27 per person in the USA) of student loan forgiveness has been approved by the Biden Administration, more than any other in history.So this begs the question:
Do you qualify for this student loan cancellation?
Specific groups have been targeted for forgiveness. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as well as many advocacy groups are pressing for broad forgiveness of up to $50,000 per borrower, but currently over 563,000 student loans have been forgiven for two major groups.
- Total and Permanent Disability – 300,000+ student borrowers
Must have a total and permanent disability, which prevents you from earning income and paying student loans.
Automatic for students who name appears as a data match between the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Social Security Administration or between the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
2. Borrower defense to repayment – 115,000+ student borrowers
Must have been misled or defrauded by your college or university. Only applies to Direct Loans. Does not apply directly to FFELP Loans (Federal Family Education Loan Program) or Perkins Loans, but you can consolidate these student loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, which would then qualify for student loan cancellation under borrower defense to repayment.
To get student loan cancellation through the borrower defense to repayment rule, you must prove:
- you borrowed federal student loans to attend a college or university;
- you believe that your college or university intentionally misled you or engaged in other misconduct;
- you experienced specific financial harm as a result; and
- you can prove that your college or university violated a state law related to your student loans or to the educational services that were provided.
Keep in mind that you can’t make a valid claim for borrower defense to repayment because you didn’t land your dream job or don’t earn as much income as you hoped.
How to apply for the programs
There has typically been an application to complete as well as other requirements for these programs. The current administration is attempting to address this roadblock to forgiveness. For instance, previously total and permanent disability had to complete an application, submit income information, and undergo a three-year monitoring period.
There are plans in the coming months to eliminate these requirements for TPD.
The application for Borrowers Defense to Loan Repayment requires several steps and is available through the DOE. You will need to provide supporting documents for your claims. (Want more info? Contact a TitanPrep Case Specialist!)
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Biden student loan forgiveness: what if you don’t qualify?
There are 45 million outstanding student loan borrowers and the current forgiveness programs only give eligibility to about 500,000. Chances are that you are not one of them.
So what can you do?
You can cross your fingers and hope for wide scale student loan cancellation which Biden may or may not enact. It is not even clear if Biden has legal authority to cancel student loans unilaterally without further authorization from Congress.
Currently, the most effective ways to get loan forgiveness is through an income-driven repayment plan and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
These programs both require applications and depending on how you answer the questions can determine whether you qualify and what type of payment you will receive. One word of caution: they are not as straightforward as they initially appear.
Student loan relief has been extended until January 31, 2022. However, make sure you focus on your strategy for student loan repayment now. You cannot wait until January to tackle your student loans.
For more information about how these programs work and who qualifies, contact a TitanPrep Case Specialist today!