Author: Alicia Carl
The Biden administration intends to forgive up to $10,000 in Federal student loans for millions of indebted Americans. Today, we will be educating you on how to become a beneficiary of this loan forgiveness program.
How to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven
Firstly, there are four important dates for you to note: Applications open online on October 1, and it will take four to six weeks to process. This means that borrowers must fill out an application by November 15, to receive forgiveness before the pandemic-era payment pause closes on 31st December.
All applications will close on December 31, 2023, while applications for the expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program closes on October 31.
Which Loans Are Entitled
Only direct loans the government disburses qualify for the forgiveness program.
Borrowers with other types of federal loans can consolidate them to form a direct consolidation loan. This may also grant access to bonus income-driven repayment plan relief. While non-federal loans disbursed by loan companies and private handlers are not eligible for any form of student debt forgiveness.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Citizens working a full-time job for the United States federal, state, local, or tribal government – are eligible for the public service loan forgiveness (PSLF).
However, eligible borrowers must have made 120 payments, whether consecutively or not, using a qualifying repayment plan to access this loan forgiveness option; this does not apply to recent graduates, as it requires at least 10 years to earn.
Also, you must either possess a federal direct loan or merge your federal loans into a direct consolidation loan to qualify.
How To Apply
Applying for public service loan forgiveness requires four steps. Here’s how the process goes:
- Use the official PSLF Help tool to check your employment place and eligibility for the benefit.
- Request for full employment history
- Fill out the PSLF paper and advance it to your servicer.
Lastly, submit your employer’s certification alongside your completed form to MOHELA, the United States Department of Education’s student loan servicer for the public service loan forgiveness program.
Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness
Ordinarily, the repayment tenure of federal loans is ten years. But citizens who find the ten-year repayment tenure unaffordable are eligible to apply for an IDR program.
IDR plans stretch payments over 20 to 25 years. When you complete this term, whatever balance remains on your loan is relieved: However, defaulting on one of your qualifying payments renders your eligibility null.
Payments are calculated based on your family size and household income and are set at 10%, 15%, or 20% of your annual discretionary income. This forgiveness program is a good choice for low-earners with a large amount of student debt.
How To Apply
Income-driven repayment plans require applicants to present an IDR request, either by paper form or online application, the former of which must be provided by your loan servicer.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
Teachers are entitled to forgiveness of $17,000 on their direct loans or Stafford loans, by teaching for at least five complete and succeeding years in the academic calendar at an eligible educational service agency or low-income educational institution.
Only teachers who are classified as “highly qualified” are eligible for the teacher loan forgiveness program. This means eligible teachers must possess a bachelor’s degree, a full state certification, and additional certifications based on how long he/she has been teaching.
How To Apply
Applying for the teacher loan forgiveness program only requires you to submit a Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application at the end of your five complete and consecutive qualifying years. However, the form’s certification section must be signed by the Chief Administrative Officer of the agency or school where you completed your qualifying teaching service.
Citizens with loans owned by the United States Department of Education have been granted automatic forbearance on the loan in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Earlier in August, the Biden administration stretched the forbearance period to stay in effect till December 31, 2022.
From March 13, 2020, till December 32, 2022, all interest that accrues on your loan will become null, and you won’t have to make any payments. Additionally, you will not be required to pay fees for late payments.
The burdens of student loan debt can be overwhelming, and when left unattended, it may run into your finances. Now’s the best time to apply and alleviate your educational burden, most especially before the pandemic-era repayment pause closes.