Which student loans qualify for forgiveness under Biden’s plan?

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  • Only loans held by the US government are eligible for Biden’s $ 10,000 amnesty plan.
  • Private loans, as well as some FFEL and Perkins loans, are not eligible for forgiveness.
  • To qualify for forgiveness, FFEL and Perkins loan borrowers can consolidate into one direct loan.

On August 24, President Biden announced that he would forgive $ 10,000 in student loans per borrower, $ 20,000 if he received a Pell Grant.

To qualify for the student loan amnesty, 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 together

However, some people may lose student loan forgiveness simply because they have the wrong type of loan.

Student Loan Expert Sonia Lewis, who has worked with over 20,000 clients to help them manage their student loans through Student Loan Doctor LLC, says most people don’t know the type of loan in the first place. “The first thing you’ll want to do,” she tells Insider, “is to log into studentaid.gov and click ‘view details’. The loan type will be right 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 dashboard as studentaid.gov. “If you see two circles, a blue circle and a green circle, it means you have received a Pell Grant and are receiving $ 20,000.”

An example screenshot of the Federal Student Aid website dashboard.

If you see two circles, one blue and one green, on your student aid website, you have received a Pell Grant and are eligible for $ 20,000 in student loan amnesty.


Here is a list of all the different loan types and whether or not they qualify for student loan amnesty.

Which loans qualify for student loan amnesty?

In general, student loans held by the US government are eligible for amnesty.

Student loan types that qualify for forgiveness

  • Direct loans for undergraduates and graduates
  • PLUS Parent Loans
  • Direct PLUS loans granted to graduate students and professionals
  • Consolidation loans (with underlying loans disbursed by 30 June 2022)
  • FFEL loans held by the Department of Education
  • Perkins Loans held by the Department of Education
  • Default loans (including Department of Education subsidized or commercially serviced Stafford loans, unsubsidized Stafford loans, PLUS loans for parents and PLUS for graduates, and Perkins loans held by the Department of Education)

Servicers who manage student loans held by the US government

  • FedLoan Assistance (PHEAA)
  • Great Lakes, Inc. Education Lending Services
  • And financial
  • Benefit
  • Nelnet
  • OSLA assistance
  • GO OUT
  • Default resolution group

If your loans are managed by servicers not listed above, they are privately owned.

Which loans do not qualify for student loan amnesty?

Private FFEL loans

Some FFEL loans are federally guaranteed loans issued by a private lender. Because they are held by a private lender and not the US government, they are not eligible for student loan amnesty. The Biden administration is working to grant forgiveness for all private FFEL loans, but there is no timeline yet.

If you have private FFEL loans, you need to consolidate your FFEL loans into one direct loan to qualify for Biden’s student loan amnesty plan.

However, other FFEL loans are held by the US government and are eligible for a $ 10,000, $ 20,000 forgiveness if you have received a Pell Grant. If you have FFEL loans and are currently on hiatus due to the pandemic, you qualify for forgiveness.

Perkins Loans

Perkins Loans are low-interest loans for undergraduates and graduates that showed exceptional financial needs and were suspended in 2017. Lewis says, “These loans would be repaid to the actual college and not to the government. So the school was able to issue the loan through government-funded money. ”

Because Perkins loans are returned to schools and not the federal government, they are not eligible for Biden’s student loan amnesty. You can consolidate your Perkins loans into a direct loan to receive full amnesty, but this may not be the best plan for you because Perkins loans are fully forgiven after five years of full-time work in the following professions:

  • Teacher in a public or nonprofit school (some part-time teaching jobs qualify for forgiveness)
  • Nurse or medical technician
  • Qualified professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled
  • Faculty member of a tribal college or university
  • Speech therapist with master’s degree working in an elementary or secondary school suitable for Title I
  • Librarian with a master’s degree who works in a school eligible for Title I
  • Law enforcement or correction officer
  • Attorney employed in a federal public or community advocacy organization
  • Employee of a public or private non-profit agency for child or family services that provides services to high-risk children and their families from low-income communities
  • Staff member in the educational component of a Head Start program
  • Staff member in the education component of a licensed or state-regulated pre-K or childcare program
  • Military service in the US military in a toll area in the event of a hostile fire or imminent danger
  • Voluntary cancellation of AmeriCorps VISTA or Peace Corps

Loans for private students

Private loans held by commercial lenders are not eligible for Biden’s student loan amnesty plan. Additionally, if you refinanced your federal student loans with a private lender, those loans are no longer eligible for Biden’s student loan amnesty plan.

How to know what kind of loans you have

To find out what type of loans you have, log into studentaid.gov and click on “My Aid” in the drop-down menu.

From there, check the “Loan Breakdown” section for a list of your loans. Click “View Loans”, then “View Loan Details”. Review the names of your loans and search for “Direct” – those loans are eligible for forgiveness.

If you have FFEL or Perkins loans with “Dept. of Ed” or “Default Management Collection System” as the manager name, your loans are owned by the federal government and are eligible for amnesty.

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