Despite the ongoing economic struggles caused by the pandemic, there is still hope for those burdened by student loan debt. The question on many minds: Can I still apply for student loan forgiveness? The answer is a resounding yes.
Multiple federal programs are available to those seeking loan forgiveness, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, the Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness, the Borrower Defense to Repayment program, and the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program. Each program has the potential to erase borrowers’ entire student loan balance.
Related: How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness
The story is different for President Joe Biden’s debt cancellation plan. Last summer, the president announced he would forgive up to $20 thousand in federal student loans for those who received a Pell Grant and met the income requirements. The U.S. Department of Education quickly launched an application, and over 26 million applied, according to the White House. But the department was forced to stop accepting applications following a flurry of legal challenges filed by Republican-led states and conservative groups.
As a result, Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is on hold as millions of Americans wait for the Supreme Court to decide its legality.
For those who have already applied, their applications will be on hold, even if they’ve already received notice that their application was approved.
For those who haven’t yet applied, it is unclear if the application will reopen and, if so, when. The application was set to remain open until December 31, 2023, but the plan’s fate remains uncertain as the court’s decision is pending.
If the application process reopens, it is expected to be streamlined, letting borrowers apply quickly and easily without logging into the Federal Student Aid website, StudentAid.gov.
The application process will only require basic personal information such as name, Social Security number, birth date, phone number, and email address. You won’t need to supply any income information if the Education Department already has it on file.