Student Loan Debt Relief  



On 8/24/22  President Biden announced an effort to forgive up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients, and up to $10,000 for other qualifying borrowers. Please refer to this page of the Federal Student Aid website for the most current information.   


Applications are still being accepted, but debt discharge is paused

As a result of a court order, processing of debt discharge has been temporarily paused through June 30, 2023.  The Federal Student Aid encourages you to apply if you are eligible.  They will continue to review applications. They will quickly process discharges when they are able to do so and you will not need to reapply.  You can sign up here for the Department of Education’s email alerts which will notified  you of the latest changes.   


  • Who  qualifies for student loan forgiveness? 
  • Do I have to submit an application for loan forgiveness?

Yes. Complete the application on the Federal Student Aid website.

  • What kinds of loans are included in student loan forgiveness plan?

Undergraduate loans, graduate loans and Parent PLUS loans managed by the Department of Education are all eligible. The student loan forgiveness plan only applies to federal student loans.  Private student loans are not eligible for forgiveness, even if they began as federal loans. If you’re unsure what type of loans you have, contact your loan servicer.

These are the following types of federal student loans disbursed on/before June 30,2022 that are eligible for relief:

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by ED or in default at a guaranty agency
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program loans held by ED
  • Defaulted loans (includes ED-held or commercially serviced Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, parent PLUS, graduate PLUS; and Perkins loans held by ED)
  • My income fluctuated a lot during the pandemic. Which income year should I look at to see if I qualify for forgiveness?

Either 2020 or 2021 must meet the loan forgiveness income requirements (less than $125,000 a year for an individual, or less than $250,000 a year for couples) in order for that borrower to qualify for loan forgiveness. More information can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.  

      • Why does everyone keep saying “up to” $10,000 or $20,000?

      Basically, if you owe $7,000 in student loans and qualify for $10,000 in forgiveness, you’ll get all $7,000 erased, but that extra $3,000 won’t be going into your pocket. That stays with the federal government.

      If you made loan payments during the pandemic pause, and your loan balance is now below the baseline $10,000 or $20,000 for Pell recipients, you may want to ask for a refund so you can take advantage of the full forgiveness amount.

      •  I kept paying off my student loans during the payment pause. Can I get that money back and have more of my loans forgiven?

      Yes. Many borrowers kept paying off their federal student loans during the payment pause because, with interest also paused, it was the perfect time to reduce their debts. These borrowers need not worry: They can still benefit from Student loan forgiveness plan, even if they paid off their student loans during the pause.

      According to the Education Department’s office of Federal Student Aid, “You can get a refund for any payment (including auto-debit payments) you make during the payment pause (beginning March 13, 2020). Contact your loan servicer to request that your payment be refunded.”

      Just remember, it will be a process, and you should make sure you qualify for some level of cancellation, either the baseline $10,000 or the $20,000 for Pell recipients, before requesting your refund.

      • What if I paid off my loans before the COVID-19 pandemic? If you already paid off your student loans before the COVID-19 pandemic, you won’t receive a refund for those payments.


      • Will borrowers get student loan checks?  

      Borrowers eligible for the forgiveness will not receive a check through the Student Loan Forgiveness program but will see their balances reduced up to $10,000 or $20,000. 

      • What happens if I still have a loan balance after debt relief is applied?
        After the maximum amount of debt relief is applied and you still have a loan balance, your monthly payment will be recalculated based on the new balance. No payments are required until after the payment pause ends on Dec. 31, 2022
      • Are defaulted loans eligible for debt relief?

      Yes, defaulted loans are eligible for debt relief. If you have a remaining balance on your defaulted loan(s) after relief is applied

      • Are private loans (i.e., non-federal loans) eligible for debt relief?

      No. Private (non-federal) loans are not eligible for debt relief. If you consolidate federal loans into a private (non-federal) loan, the consolidated private loan is not eligible for debt relief.

      • Are parent PLUS loans and graduate PLUS loans eligible for debt relief?

      Yes. All ED-held loans, including PLUS loans for parents and graduate students, are eligible for relief.

      • What if I don’t want to receive debt relief?

      If you would like to opt out of debt relief for any reason—including because you are concerned about a potential state tax liability—contact your loan servicer by phone or email and tell them that you don’t want to receive one-time student loan debt relief.

      • How do I complete the application if I have limited internet access, have a disability, or live abroad?

      The Student Loan Debt Relief Application is available online and in paper form (downloadable via PDF) in English and Spanish. 

      If you do not have internet access or need a paper version of the application, you can download a PDF copy of the Student Loan Debt Relief Application, print it, fill it out, and mail it to our fulfillment center as described on the application.

      If you need help filling out any of the forms, you can reach the Federal Student Aid contact center. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, you can get help from their contact center through chat or email. You can also contact us using a Video Relay Service. If you speak a language other than English, their contact center provides support for over 100 common languages, including Spanish, Chinese, and French.

      If you’re an American living outside the United States, you can access the Debt Relief Application without having to use a virtual private network (VPN). If you have any issues accessing the form while abroad, please reach out to their contact center.

      • If I have parent PLUS loans and my child received a Pell Grant, can the full $20,000 in debt relief be applied to my parent PLUS loans?

      No. If a student received a Pell Grant, up to $20,000 in debt relief will be applied to the student’s loans—not to any loans their parents may have taken out.

      • Will any student loans that are forgiven be taxed?

      Canceled debt is generally taxable, but student loans that are forgiven will be exempt from federal income tax because of a provision in the government’s 2021 American Rescue Plan. The provision prevents taxation on student loans forgiven through 2025. States likely won’t impose taxes, but details are still developing.

      • How can  I be sure I’m going to the correct website to apply for my loan forgiveness? 

      It’s important to beware of scams. The federal Student Loan Debt Relief program sends emails to borrowers only from the following addresses:,, or If you receive emails from other, or similar email addresses, take caution as it may be a scam.

      You could potentially be contacted by a company saying they will help you get loan discharge, forgiveness, cancellation or debt relief for a fee. You never have to pay for help with federal student aid. For more information visit the Federal Student Loan website 

          • Is there is a special student loan forgiveness program for government or non profit employees?  

          Yes.  The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program helps student loan borrowers working in nonprofit or government jobs by forgiving the remaining balance on your loans after you have made 10 years of qualifying payments. For specific instructional videos on Public Service Loan Forgiveness go to the Student Borrower Protection Center website.