Biden Administration's Student Loan Debt Relief Plan FAQs

The application for loan forgiveness is closed at this time due to legal challenges. If you’ve already applied, your application will be held on file. See the full announcement at studentaid.gov.

Updated as of November 14, 2022.

Eligibility Questions

Any federal student loans owned by the Department of Education and first disbursed on or before June 30, 2022 qualify for forgiveness. This includes Federal Direct, Parent PLUS, Grad PLUS, Perkins Loans, Direct Consolidation Loans, and defaulted loans from the previously listed loan types. Private student loans do not qualify. For more information please refer to this resource from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) borrowers whose FFEL loans have been transferred to the Department of Education for servicing (so they are federally held) and have a first disbursement on or before June 30, 2022 are eligible.

Borrowers with privately held federal student loans, including FFEL, Perkins, and HEAL programs, are not eligible for the one-time loan forgiveness.

Borrowers who applied to consolidate their privately-owned FFEL and Perkins loans with a Federal Direct Consolidation loan before September 29, 2022 are eligible to receive the one-time loan forgiveness. As of September 29, 2022, Federal Direct Consolidation will no longer qualify privately-owned FFEL and Perkins loans for the one-time loan forgiveness. However, FFEL Joint Consolidation Loans, which are often referred to as spousal consolidation loans, are not eligible for consolidation into the Direct Loan program under current law.

If you are not sure if your loan is a privately-owned FFEL loan you can go to Studentaid.gov and sign in with your FSA ID. Then, go to the “My Aid” tab, and search for your loan details.

According to Federal Student Aid (FSA), consolidation loans are eligible for forgiveness as long as all of the underlying loans that were consolidated were first disbursed on or before June 30, 2022. If a borrower consolidated their federal loans into a private loan, that consolidated private loan is not eligible.

Yes, currently enrolled students with outstanding federal student loans disbursed on or before June 30, 2022 are eligible for loan forgiveness. This means many students starting college in Fall 2022 likely will not benefit from loan forgiveness.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $125,000 or below for single tax filers; $250,000 or below for married tax filers or heads of households.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) reports that it is their understanding that borrowers can choose either their 2020 or 2021 adjusted gross income (AGI) to meet the income qualifications. Borrowers who were dependent students in the 2021-22 year will be eligible for relief based on parental income, rather than their own income.

Up to $20,000 for student borrowers who received a Pell Grant in college.

Up to $10,000 for borrowers who did not receive a Pell Grant in college.

Up to $10,000 for Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS borrowers. If a Grad PLUS borrower also received a Pell Grant in their undergraduate studies they should be eligible for the additional $10,000. We will continue to research this.

According to the National Association of School Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) there are no conditions on receipt of the Pell Grant in order to be eligible for the $20,000 in loan forgiveness. The borrower could have received any amount at any time to be eligible for the additional $10,000.

While this question was not officially addressed in Federal Student Aid announcements, national news outlets are reporting that no, if a parent has a loan for their education as well as a parent PLUS loan, they will not be eligible for double the elimination. We will continue to research this.

Yes, eligible borrowers who paid off all or part of their federal student loans since March 13, 2020, will still qualify for Biden’s student loan forgiveness. Borrowers can request a refund by calling their loan servicer directly, according to the Federal Student Aid website.

Process Questions

If you have completed a 2022-2023 FAFSA or are enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan based on your 2020 or 2021 income, the Department of Education may automatically apply the forgiveness to your account (applies to about 8 million borrowers).

All other borrowers should complete the online application to benefit from the one-time debt forgiveness. In order for the loan forgiveness to be applied before the student loan moratorium ends, apply by November 15, 2022. Access the application here.

If you’re unsure if you are eligible for automatic loan forgiveness, feel free to complete the loan forgiveness application as a safeguard.

You may receive emails from your student loan servicer or from the Department of Education, but any phone call is likely a scam. Do not give personal or financial information to an unfamiliar caller. When in doubt, hang up and call your student loan servicer directly. You can find your federal student loan servicer’s contact information at studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/servicers.  

You will not have to pay a fee to get cancellation. Paying a fee will not move the process faster and is a scam. 

You can report scammers to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov. More guidance for avoiding scams can be found at the Department of Education’s website.

No, this loan forgiveness will not be considered taxable income for federal tax purposes. A provision within the American Rescue Plan exempts all federal student loan forgiveness from taxation through the end of 2025. 

It is important to note that states may treat loan forgiveness as taxable income for state income taxes. A resource to learn more about this can be found here.

Yes, the deadline to apply for forgiveness (if required) will be December 31, 2023.

Yes, you may opt out of this one-time loan forgiveness. If you are eligible for automatic forgiveness because you completed a 2022-2023 FAFSA or are on an income-driven repayment plan using your 2020 or 2021 income, opt out by calling your loan servicer and indicate that you do not want the loan forgiveness applied to your account.

For borrowers who are not eligible for automatic forgiveness, simply do not complete the loan forgiveness application if you do not wish for it to be applied to your loans.