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Biden Student Loan relief deadline approaching: how to apply and who is eligible?

This is the deadline for Biden student loan relief: How can I apply and who is eligible for debt forgiveness help?

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Your student loan debt may be able to be cleared off if you attended school before 2010. That’s because you may be eligible for a loan relief/cancellation program beginning in the fall, though the exact date is not yet known. 

Biden’s new plan uses the legal justification of the Higher Education Act. This act legally allows waiving of student debts in certain cases. The new program is expected to provide relief to about 30 million borrowers

Who is eligible?

Five categories of people are eligible for the relief:

  • Borrowers whose debts have grown because of unpaid interest: The relief program would cancel up to $20,000 in interest for those who now owe more than they originally borrowed. You might get more than $20,000 if you earn below $120,000 annually (or as a couple less than $240,000) and are enrolled in an Income Driven Repayment plan (IDR). 
  • Those who qualify for federal student loan forgiveness plans but haven’t applied: those who qualify for programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Income-driven Repayment plans (IDR) but haven’t applied are also eligible for the relief. 
  • Borrowers with long term debts: Borrowers who have been paying off their student loan debts for 20 or more years or graduate school debts for more than 25 years. Over 2 million people in this category are estimated to have their loans cancelled. 
  • Borrowers who have been repaying undergraduate loans for 20 or more years or graduate school loans for 25 or more years. 
  • Borrowers experiencing hardships: Those who went for a college program that didn’t provide a certain level of financial benefit or have low incomes compared to their student loan debts. 

The relief would give interest reductions or loan cancellations to those who are in this category. Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) borrowers are also eligible if they meet any of these conditions:

  • Borrowers who started repaying their loans on or before July 1, 2000
  • Borrowers who are qualified for ‘a closed school discharge’ but haven’t applied for one.
  • Borrowers whose schools lost Title IV Funding (special federal funding) because too many students defaulted on their loans. 

How do I apply?

Most of the cancellations will happen automatically without you needing to apply. The only special case being those who want to make a case that they face some hardships and would merit cancellations. 

Helping with higher education was one of the primary promises during Biden’s campaign in 2020 and he is accomplishing that.

So far, $146 billion has been spent on student debt relief in the Biden administration for over 4 million Americans. 

Although the supreme Court blocked the original Biden-Harris student debt relief plan that would have erased $10,000 for borrowers with yearly incomes of up to $125,000. The blocked plan was estimated to cost $400 billion and would have cancelled debt for at least 40 million people. 

When will I get the relief?

Some debts could be cancelled as early as this fall, but the timeline hasn’t fully been finalized yet. An official proposal will soon be released by the Education Department in the coming months. 

After the release of the proposal, there would be a public review period of sixty days. If the rule is passed by November 1, the rule would take effect in July 2025. 

However, the Higher Education Act laws that can fast-track this process. With this power, Biden could be able to start debt cancellation by the end of the year.

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