July 18, 2022

What Borrowers Need to Know About President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness

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As of April 2022, student loan borrowers owe nearly $1.75 trillion in federal and private student loans. Over 43 million Americans have some amount of student loan debt. After a total of four student-loan payment pauses throughout the pandemic, many borrowers are hopeful that the Biden Administration will soon announce a permanent relief option.

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While campaigning, then President-elect Joe Biden pledged to cancel a minimum amount of $10,000 of student debt per person. This blanket forgiveness campaign pledge has morphed into an approach based on more targeted relief initiatives. Thus far, this has resulted in the administration taking executive action to: (1) make existing student loan forgiveness programs more accessible, (2) expand access to the programs, and (3) ease restrictions, generally. 

While we all wait to see whether or not Biden will ultimately announce wide-scale student loan forgiveness (and how much) or a more limited form of cancellation, it’s important to note here the current targeted relief initiatives. As these initiatives stand now, not everyone will qualify for student debt relief. So, as you read, remember that our team has put in the research to find alternatives for individuals still needing relief, and we are here to help!

Who is Qualified for Student Loan Forgiveness Under Biden?

Under President Biden, 1.3 million borrowers have received $25 billion worth of student loan relief. The relief has come in the form of student loan forgiveness programs such as:

  • Total and permanent disability discharge
  • Public service loan forgiveness
  • Borrower defense to repayment or closed school discharge

Each of these student loan relief options come with stipulations, however.

Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

To receive a total and permanent disability discharge a borrower must be totally and permanently disabled. Qualified borrowers would no longer have to repay their federal student debt, including:

  • Direct Loan Programs Loans
  • Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Program Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Enacted in 2007, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, or “PSLF,” provides student loan forgiveness to those who commit to working in a government or nonprofit profession (i.e., public service).

Unfortunately, the PSLF program has always been problematic. Specifically, the combined effect of complex eligibility rules and poor oversight resulted in very low approval rates—one to two percent—over the years. Under the Biden Administration, the Education Department announced a significant overhaul in October 2021 to the program, which resulted in $1.74 billion in student loan forgiveness across 22,000 borrowers. Additionally, the PSLF program allows for a limited waiver to be filed by those ~98% of applicants previously denied to see if they actually qualify for PSLF forgiveness. That waiver program, however, ends on October 31, 2022. Note that if you have FFEL loans and consolidate them to Direct Loans, you may be able to qualify for PSLF as well.

Borrower Defense to Repayment or Closed School Discharge

This student debt relief program applies to students who were misled by a school involved in misconduct while they were enrolled. Additionally, students who attended a school that closed while they were enrolled or graduated shortly after may qualify for the closed school discharge program. The names of these schools are as follows:

  • Corinthian Colleges
  • ITT Technical Institute
  • Education Corporation of America
  • Education Management Corporation
  • The University of Phoenix

Fast Facts of Student Loans

What is the current* total federal student loan debt?

  • Federal student loan borrowers - 43 million
  • Federal student loan debt - $1.61 trillion

What is the current* total private student loan debt?

What is the current* total Parent PLUS loan debt?

  • Parent PLUS loan borrowers - 4 million
  • Parent PLUS loan debt - $104.8 billion
  • Average Parent PLUS loan debt - $28,778

What If You Don’t Qualify for Biden’s Student Debt Relief?

Unfortunately, not everyone will qualify for student debt relief. That’s why our team has put in the research to find alternatives. Dan Staeven is an experienced bankruptcy attorney and has helped countless individuals and businesses navigate the bankruptcy process and is now bringing that experience to student loan debt relief.

The student loan process doesn’t have to be overwhelming; we can help. Student loans come in three main categories, all of which our experienced attorneys can assist with.

Federal Loans

  1. Direct Subsidized Loans
  2. Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  3. Parent PLUS Loans
  4. Graduate PLUS Loans
  5. Direct Consolidation Loans

Private Student Loans

  1. Private Student Loans
  2. Private Parent Loans

Stafford Loans

  1. Subsidized
  2. Unsubsidized

The type of student loan(s) you received, an accounting of your overall financial obligations, and a projection of your future earning potential will all factor into determining the student loan debt relief for which you may be eligible.

Let us help you with a free initial consultation to determine what options are available and will provide the best outcome for you. Contact us today or give us a call us now at (410) 497-5947 to learn how we can help provide student loan relief for you.

*as of 6/21/22

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