Biden Student Loan Forgiveness: What You Need to Know

So you’ve probably heard the news that President Biden recently announced plans to forgive some student loan debt.This is a big deal if you’re one of the millions of Americans with student loans. Biden’s proposal could significantly lower or even eliminate your monthly payments. But there are a lot of details to understand about who qualifies, how much will be forgiven, and what you need to do to benefit.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan so you can figure out if you’re eligible and how much relief you might receive. We’ll explain who qualifies for forgiveness, how Biden’s plan will impact private vs. federal student loans, the timeline for implementation, and what you can do right now to make sure you benefit. So keep reading to get all the details on how Biden’s proposal could eliminate or lower your student debt.

What Is Biden’s Plan for Student Loan Forgiveness?

President Biden has proposed forgiving up to $10,000 of federal student loan debt per person. This would apply to those with an annual income of less than $125,000. Biden also supports forgiving all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt for those who attended public colleges and universities, as well as private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs).

To qualify for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, you’ll need to have federal student loans. This includes Direct Loans, FFEL Loans, and Perkins Loans. Private student loans would not be eligible. The amount of forgiveness – up to $10,000 – would apply to your remaining balance after you’ve made payments for 20 years. Any forgiven amounts would not be taxed.

Those with graduate degrees may receive partial student loan forgiveness based on their income. For example:

  • $10,000 in loan forgiveness if you earn less than $125,000 per year
  • Partial loan forgiveness if you earn between $125,000 to $250,000 per year
  • No loan forgiveness if you earn $250,000 or more per year

Biden’s plan also aims to fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and forgive $10,000 of undergraduate or graduate debt for every year of national or community service, up to five years. He would also double Pell Grants and make community college tuition-free.

The President has the authority to forgive federal student loan debt through an executive order. However, Biden would need Congress to approve other parts of his plan like making community college tuition-free. There is no set timeline yet for when or if Biden’s student loan forgiveness proposal may be implemented. Borrowers should continue making payments until told otherwise.

Who Qualifies for Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness?

To qualify for federal student loan forgiveness under Biden’s plan, you need to meet a few criteria.

First, your loans have to be federal student loans like Stafford or Grad PLUS loans – private student loans won’t qualify. ###

Second, you must have been enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited U.S. college or university. ###

Third, you need to make 120 qualifying monthly payments under an income-driven repayment plan like PAYE or REPAYE. That’s 10 years of payments for undergrads and 25 years for grad students. The good news is that payments made since 2007 will count toward forgiveness.

Finally, your discretionary income has to be below a certain threshold, which depends on your family size. For example, if you’re single with no dependents, your income must be under $25,000 per year. If you’re married with two kids, the limit is $60,000. The actual amount forgiven depends on how much you owe.

The Biden plan aims to make college more affordable and help relieve the student debt burden for middle- and lower-income Americans. If you meet the qualifications, you could have a substantial portion of your federal student loans forgiven, giving you greater financial freedom and the ability to stimulate the economy.

Overall, the goal of this program is to lift the weight of student loan debt off the shoulders of those who need it most. If you think you may qualify, be sure to submit an application for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

How Much Student Loan Forgiveness Can You Get Under Biden?

Under President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, you may be eligible for $10,000 or even $50,000 in loan cancelation. The amount depends on a few factors:

Your income

Biden has proposed forgiving $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those earning less than $125,000 per year. If you earn less than $25,000 per year, you may qualify for up to $50,000 in forgiveness. The income requirements are based on your adjusted gross income (AGI). Biden’s plan aims to help middle- and lower-income borrowers who may be struggling with loan payments.

Type of loan

Only federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness under Biden’s plan, including Direct Loans, PLUS loans, and Consolidation Loans. Private student loans are not included. If you have a mix of federal and private loans, only the federal portion would be eligible for cancelation.

When you took out the loan

Loans must have been disbursed on or before the date Biden’s loan forgiveness plan is authorized in order to qualify. If you took out federal student loans after that date, they would not be eligible under this plan. However, Biden may issue additional student loan forgiveness in the future.

Program of study

Your program of study or degree does not impact your eligibility under Biden’s proposed plan. Both undergraduate and graduate federal student loan debt would be eligible for cancelation. The amount of forgiveness, $10,000 or $50,000, depends solely on your income, not your program of study.

In summary, if you earn under $125,000 per year and have federal student loan debt, you may receive partial or full cancelation of up to $50,000 under Biden’s forgiveness proposal. The key factors are your income, having federal student loans, and those loans being disbursed before Biden’s plan is authorized. By forgiving student debt, Biden aims to help reduce the loan burden for millions of Americans.

How to Apply for Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness

To apply for student loan forgiveness under Biden’s plan, you’ll need to take a few simple steps.

Check Your Eligibility

First, make sure your federal student loans qualify for Biden’s forgiveness program. Loans must have been disbursed before July 1, 2022. Both undergraduate and graduate loans are eligible. Private student loans do not qualify. If you have a mix of federal and private loans, only the federal portion will be forgiven.

Consolidate Your Loans (If Needed)

If you have multiple federal student loans, you may need to consolidate them into a single Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for forgiveness. Consolidating your loans will not hurt your eligibility or change your interest rate. It just simplifies the process by combining everything into one new loan.

Apply Through Your Loan Servicer

Once your loans are consolidated (if needed), you’re ready to apply for forgiveness. Contact your loan servicer, like Nelnet, Great Lakes, or FedLoan Servicing. They will walk you through the application process and help determine your eligibility. You will need to provide information like your income, family size, and details on your federal student loans.

Loan Forgiveness and Repayment

If approved, up to $10,000 of your federal student loan balance will be forgiven. Any remaining balance will need to be repaid as normal. The forgiveness amount will not be taxed as income. Your loan servicer will notify you if your application is approved and the amount that will be forgiven. Payments and interest on your remaining student loan balance will resume after the forgiveness amount is deducted.

The student loan forgiveness application process should be straightforward for most borrowers. However, if you run into issues or have additional questions, contact your loan servicer for help. They are available to assist you through each step to ensure you receive the maximum student loan forgiveness benefit under Biden’s program.

FAQs on Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

You probably have a lot of questions about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help clarify things.

How much will be forgiven?

If Biden’s plan is approved, $10,000 of federal student loan debt will be forgiven for most borrowers. For those who attended public colleges/universities, up to $50,000 may be forgiven. The amount depends on if you received a Pell Grant.

Who qualifies for forgiveness?

Those with federal student loans like Stafford and Grad PLUS loans qualify. Private student loan debt is not included. To be eligible, your income must be less than $125,000 (single) or $250,000 (married).

Do I have to apply?

Most likely, yes. The details are still being worked out, but borrowers will probably need to fill out an application to have their debt canceled. The application process aims to be simple, but you should be prepared to provide income information to verify your eligibility.

Will the canceled amount be taxed?

Under current tax law, the amount of canceled student debt may be taxable as income. However, Biden’s plan proposes making student loan forgiveness tax-free so borrowers do not face a big tax bill. This will need approval from Congress.

What’s the timeline for implementation?

If approved, Biden’s loan forgiveness plan may take effect as early as 2021. The exact start date is not yet known and depends on how quickly the legislation can make its way through Congress. Borrowers may need time to apply for and be approved for the program, so loan cancelation may happen over a period of months.

Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan aims to provide relief for millions of Americans struggling with education debt. While the details are still in the works, this FAQ covers the basics of what you can expect if the legislation is passed. Check with studentaid.gov for updates and announcements on how to apply for the program.

Conclusion

That covers the basics you need to know about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. While the details are still being worked out, it looks like relief may finally be on the horizon for millions of Americans bogged down by student debt. Keep an eye out for updates on the income levels that will qualify for forgiveness and the exact amount that may be canceled. Once the program officially rolls out, make sure you submit an application as soon as possible to take advantage of this opportunity. After years of hoping for change, some real progress is being made. There’s still more work to be done to make college affordable and accessible for all, but this is an important first step in the right direction. The future is looking brighter already.

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