You may not need to apply for student loan debt relief (but you still should)


The form to request $10,000 to $20,000 in federal student loan debt relief is now officially open, by a White House announcement today. Speaking to reporters, President Joe Biden said, “It’s easy, simple and quick, and it’s a new day for millions of Americans across our country.”

Any eligible person can apply for student loan debt relief nowbut there are a lot of borrowers who have nothing to do at all — about 8 million Americans whose income is registered with the Department of Education will have a student debt of $10,000 to $20,000 automatically forgiven.

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Find out which borrowers will have their student loan debt forgiven automatically without having to apply and how the process works. To learn more about student debt relief, check out whether your pardon will be taxed by your state and how debt forgiveness could impact your credit score.

Who gets automatic student debt relief?

Borrowers whose income data is already on file with the federal government will not need to apply for student loan debt forgiveness, the Biden administration said. Because the Department of Education can use the information it has to verify the income eligibility of these borrowers, it will work with loan officers to automatically waive $10,000 or $20,000.

The largest group of borrowers who have income data filed with the ministry are registered with income-contingent reimbursement (IDR) programs. These plans allow those with student loans to settle their debt by paying a fixed monthly amount based on their income, usually over 20 to 25 years.

To obtain cancellation of student loan debt, participants in IDR plans must have recertified their income data for 2020 or 2021.

Other borrowers who can expect to automatically receive student debt relief are those who have filed FAFSA — the free student aid app — for the 2022-23 school year. Income data included in the application will be used to determine student debt relief.

The The Ministry of Education says that all borrowers who qualify for automatic student loan debt relief will receive an email explaining that they do not need to apply and giving them the option to opt out of student loan debt forgiveness student loan. If you have a Federal Student Aid account and have enabled SMS notifications, you will receive an SMS with similar information.

If I have income registered with the government, do I still need to apply for student debt relief?

Yes. Even if you received an email from the department explaining that your debt will be canceled automatically, there is no harm in requesting debt forgiveness.

This student loan debt relief program is still very new, and there is a high risk of glitches and errors. Applying for debt relief, although you should get it automatically, should have no negative impact.

The student loan debt relief application form is very short and can be completed in two minutes. All you need to enter is your name, social security number, date of birth, email address, and phone number, and a signed statement that you are eligible for assistance.

How do I know if I qualify for student debt relief?

All borrowers with federally held student loans are eligible for a $10,000 forgiveness if they earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 as a sole filer, or $250,000 as a head of family or spouses declaring jointly. Eligible borrowers who received Pell Grants can receive another $10,000 in relief to forgive a total of $20,000 in debt.

If you are unsure of your exact income in 2020 and 2021 and you filed a federal tax return in those years, you can easily find your income from your tax returns using a free IRS online account.

To learn more about student loans, find out how teachers and other government officials can clear all of their student debt with the Cancellation of civil service loans program.

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