Here’s how to apply for limited student loan forgiveness.
Here’s what you need to know.
The biggest news in student loans over the past month has been the major changes to student loan forgiveness. President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Education announced sweeping change to the long-troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that could result in hundreds of thousands of student loan borrowers getting total student loan forgiveness. There is a limited time to apply for this student loan forgiveness, however. Here is how to apply and here’s what it means for your student loans.
Major changes to student loan forgiveness
Wide-scale student loan forgiveness is top of mind for student loan borrowers. However, it’s these changes to student loan forgiveness that has student loan borrowers cheering. In a major announcement last month, Biden changed the rules to get student loan forgiveness for borrowers who are seeking public service loan forgiveness. To get student loan forgiveness, student loan borrowers must work for a qualified public service or non-profit employer, make 120 monthly payments and meet other qualifications. These major changes include:
- counting student loan payments for FFELP Loans and Perkins Loans;
- counting student loan payments prior to student loan consolidation;
- counting student loan payments made under the wrong student loan repayment plan;
- counting student loan payments that were late or made with the wrong amount; and
- counting student loan payments for active military service during periods of temporary student loan forbearance or deferment;
(Do you qualify for $4.5 billion of student loan forgiveness?) By relaxing these rules, more student loan borrowers who were previously rejected for student loan forgiveness will now qualify for total student loan cancellation. This is especially important now, since student loan relief will end soon and regular student loan payments will resume. (Here’s how student loan repayment will work once student loan relief ends).
How to apply for limited student loan forgiveness
The major changes to student loan forgiveness were met with sweeping cheers by student loan borrowers impacted. However, student loan forgiveness has one major problem. These changes aren’t permanent; they have a definitive expiration date. To get student loan forgiveness under these new rules, student loan borrowers must seek a limited waiver by October 31, 2022. (Here’s how to get student loan forgiveness). That means that if any these changes would affect your ability to qualify for student loan forgiveness, you have less than a year to get the limited waiver.
- If you need additional payments to qualify, make sure to complete this form.
- If you have non-Direct Loans such as FFELP Loans or Perkins Loans, you must consolidate these student loans with the U.S. Department of Education before October 31, 2022 so they can qualify for student loan forgiveness.
- If you’re not sure which federal student loans you have, you can check through Federal Student Aid (FSA) under Aid Summary.
- Make sure you have completed an Employer Certification Form to ensure your employer qualifies for student loan forgiveness.
What this means for your student loans
What does this mean for your student loans? If you are pursuing student loan forgiveness, then you can now count student loan payments that previously may have been ineligible. This can help you get student loan forgiveness faster. (Student loan forgiveness won’t be available to these borrowers). You can still get student loan forgiveness even if you don’t work in public service. Plus, you can always decide to get student loan forgiveness through public service loan forgiveness, even if you don’t work for a qualified employer today. The program is still active and available to you now if you meet the requirements.
Student loan forgiveness is ending soon. Are you prepared? Learn all your options for student loan repayment. Here are some popular ways to pay off student loans faster:
- Student loan refinancing (lower interest rate + lower monthly payment)
- Income-driven repayment plans (lower payment, but same interest rate)
- Public service loan forgiveness (student loan forgiveness for public servants)