President Biden, Vice President Harris, and the U.S. Department of Education have unveiled a three-part strategy to assist working and middle-class federal student loan debtors once pandemic-related assistance ends. This plan provides up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness. Many individuals and families may be wondering what they have to do to qualify for this relief. This blog will help you find answers to those questions and more.
Part 1: The Student Loan Repayment Suspension's Last Extension
The Biden-Harris Administration has continuously extended the student loan repayment pause because of the economic constraints posed by the pandemic. As a result, since President Biden entered office, no one with a federally owned debt has been required to make any loan payments.
The Biden-Harris Administration will prolong the break until December 31, 2022, to facilitate a seamless transition to repayment and avoid unwarranted defaults. Payments will resume in January 2023.
Part 2: Giving Low and Middle-Income Families Tailored Debt Relief
The U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness to Pell Grant recipients with loans possessed by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness to non-Pell Grant recipients to smooth the transition back to repayment and assist borrowers in the highest risk of delinquencies or default once payments resume. Borrowers are eligible for this assistance if their income is less than $125,000 or their family income is less than $250,000.
- Your yearly income must be less than $125,000 (for singles) or $250,000 (for couples or heads of households).
- If you got a Pell Grant in college and fulfill the income requirements, you can get up to $20,000 in debt relief.
- You are qualified for up to $10,000 in debt relief if you were not awarded a Pell Grant while in college and your income is within the range.
The Administration published a simple application in October for borrowers whose income data the US Department of Education does not have. Borrowers will not be required to provide documents or have an FSA ID to apply.
Part 3: Make the Student Loan System Accessible for Existing and Prospective Borrowers
Income-based repayment programs have long been available via the United States Department of Education. The Biden-Harris Administration is putting out a proposal to establish a new income-driven repayment plan, which will significantly cut future monthly payments for debtors with lower and intermediate incomes.
The proposal would:
- Ask borrowers to pay no more than 5% of their discretionary income in monthly payments for undergraduate loans. It is a reduction from the previous income-driven repayment plan's 10%.
- Raise the amount of income considered non-discretionary and thus exempt from repayment, ensuring no borrower earning less than 225% of the federal poverty level—roughly the yearly equivalent of a $15 minimum wage for a single borrower—will be required to make a monthly payment.
- For debtors with loan sums of $12,000 or less, forgive loan balances after 10 years of payments rather than 20 years.
- Pay the borrower's unpaid monthly interest so that, unlike other current income-driven repayment programs, no borrower's loan debt will rise as long as they make their monthly payments—even if those payments are $0 due to a low income.
The Biden-Harris Administration is working to promptly implement improvements to student loan forgiveness. Contact us if you want to know more about this process or need assistance managing your student loan relief. Student Loan Forgiveness USA is here to walk you through this opportunity.