Which student loans are eligible for forgiveness under Biden’s plan?
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- Only loans held by the US government are eligible for Biden’s $10,000 discount plan.
- Private loans, as well as some FFEL and Perkins loans, are not eligible for the forgiveness.
- You must also meet income requirements to qualify: $125,000 for an individual, $250,000 for a couple.
On August 24, President Biden announced he would forgive $10,000 in student loans per borrower, $20,000 if you received a Pell Grant.
To qualify for student loan forgiveness, you must meet the following income requirements:
- Annual income of $125,000 or less for individuals
- Annual income of $250,000 or less for married couples filing taxes jointly
However, some people might not qualify for student loan forgiveness simply because they do not have the right type of loan.
Student loan expert Sonia Lewis, who has worked with more than 20,000 clients to help them navigate their student loans through Student Loan Doctor LLC, says most people don’t know their loan type in the first place. “The first thing you’ll want to do,” she tells Insider, “is log into studentaid.gov and click ‘view details.’ Your loan type will be just above the green circle.”
If you can’t remember whether or not you received a Pell Grant, Lewis says the information can be found in the same studentaid.gov dashboard. “If you see two circles, a blue circle and a green circle, it means you received a Pell grant and are receiving $20,000.”
Here is a list of all the different types of loans, and whether or not they qualify for student loan relief.
What loans are eligible for student loan forgiveness?
Generally, student loans held by the US government are eligible for forgiveness.
Types of student loans eligible for forgiveness
- Undergraduate and graduate direct loans
- Parent PLUS Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Students
- Consolidation loans (with underlying loans held by the Ministry of Education and disbursed no later than June 30, 2022)
- FFEL loans held by National Education
- Perkins loans held by the Department of Education
- Delinquent loans (including subsidized Stafford loans held by the Department of Education or commercially serviced, unsubsidized Stafford loans, parent PLUS and graduate PLUS loans, and Perkins loans held by the Department of Education)
Services that handle student loans held by the US government
- FedLoan Service (PHEAA)
- Great Lakes Education Loan Services, Inc.
- OSLA interview
- Default resolution group
If your loans are managed by managers not listed above, they are private.
What loans are not eligible for student loan forgiveness?
FFEL private loans
Some FFEL loans are federally guaranteed loans issued by a private lender. Because they are held by a private lender and not by the US government, they are not eligible for student loan forgiveness.
Other FFEL loans belong to the US government, and these are eligible for a $10,000 rebate, $20,000 if you received a Pell grant. If you have FFEL loans and they are currently on hiatus due to the pandemic, they are eligible for forgiveness.
Perkins Loans are low-interest loans for undergraduate and graduate students who have exceptional financial need; they were discontinued in 2017. Some are federally owned, while others are private.
Perkins loans that are held by individuals are not eligible for Biden’s student loan forgiveness.
However, Perkins loans are fully forgiven after five years of full-time work in the following occupations:
- Public or non-profit school teacher (some part-time teaching work is eligible for forgiveness)
- Nurse or medical technician
- Qualified professional provider of early intervention services for people with disabilities
- Faculty member of a tribal college or university
- Speech-language pathologist with a master’s degree working in a Title I eligible elementary or secondary school
- Librarian with a master’s degree working in a Title I eligible school
- Law enforcement officer or prison officer
- Lawyer employed in a federal public defense or community organization
- Employee of a public or private not-for-profit child or family services agency providing services to high-risk children and their families from low-income communities
- Staff member of the education component of a Head Start program
- Staff member of the education component of a state-licensed or regulated pre-K or child care program
- Military service in the United States Armed Forces in an area of hostile fire or imminent danger
- Cancellation of AmeriCorps VISTA or Peace Corps Volunteers
If your Perkins loans are currently on pause due to the pandemic, they are eligible for forgiveness.
Private student loans
Private loans held by commercial lenders are not eligible for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Additionally, if you refinanced your federal student loans with a private lender, those loans are no longer eligible for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.
How to find out what types of loans you have
To find out what type of loan you have, log on to studentaid.gov and click “My Aid” from the drop-down menu.
From there, see the “Loan Breakdown” section for a list of your loans. Click “View Loans”, then click “View Loan Details”. Review the names of your loans and search for “Direct” – these loans are eligible for forgiveness.
If you have FFEL or Perkins loans with “Dept. of Ed” or “Default Management Collection System” as the managing agent name, your loans belong to the federal government and are eligible for forgiveness.
September 30, 2022: This story has been updated to reflect changes made by the Biden administration to eligibility for cancellation of the Perkins and FFEL loans. The administration previously advised borrowers with private FFEL and Perkins loans to consolidate for forgiveness, but it reversed that guidance on September 29. If you consolidated before September 29, you are eligible for the rebate.