How to Know if You Qualify For the New Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Justice Foster


The pandemic has highlighted financial realities that have long been the subject of various debates and movements; college students are in debt, frequently even before they get some source of income.

This was a harsh reality that many graduates had to struggle with pre-pandemic. Still, with the virus shaking up the world economy, many indebted college graduates are being pushed to dangerous breaking points.

But there’s still hope: the government has recently enacted a student loan forgiveness program with about $10 billion by modifying or expanding current federal relief programs. This article will discuss how you’ll know if you’re qualified.

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan: The Details

The Biden administration’s $10 billion-worth debt forgiveness program is allocated to already-existing student debt forgiveness programs. Here’s a rough breakdown:

Borrower Defense to Repayment Program

The existing federal Borrower Defense to Repayment Program, or simply Borrower Defense, exists for people whose institutions have defrauded because of their student loans. If you can prove that you’ve suffered financial harm because of your institution’s ruling, you’re eligible for this grant.

However, the $1.5 billion relief expansion by the Biden administration applies only to already approved claimants.

Closed-School Discharge Program

Students of ITT Technical Institutes that closed between November 2013 and July 2020 will receive automatic loan forgiveness, as long as they haven’t enrolled in a different school three years after the institutions closed.

The administration allocated $1.1 billion for this program’s relief extension. If you believe that you qualify, you have to apply for this relief program actively. You can find the qualification requirements on the government’s Student Aid website.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge Program

The eligible for this grant are borrowers categorized as having some form of disability by the Social Security Administration, actively receiving disability benefits, and faithfully submitting to their disability review for about five to seven years.

The executive order allocated $5.8 billion in expanded relief to qualifying individuals with student loans.

Reversed Loan Reinstatements

This applies to TPD borrowers that had their disability discharges voided by failure to comply with monitoring requirements due to the pandemic.

With a $1.3 billion allocation, the administration is waiving the requirements for TPD monitoring set by the Department of Education indefinitely, as the TPD Program is being revamped.

Military Service Members

This grant applies to former and current active-duty members of the military with outstanding student loan interest. However, this is only for those already qualified for an interest waiver due to hostile pay area deployment but could not avail their benefits due to internal errors or failure to submit a request.

The administration grant involves retroactive forgiveness of the interest that the servicemen accrued under these circumstances.

How to Know if You Qualify

So, there’s billions worth of student loan forgiveness grants. Great! But how do you know that you’re qualified for it?

Actually, you don’t have to do anything at all. All of the grants, except for the Closed-School Discharge Program, are automatically enacted. The Department of Education coordinates with the appropriate government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, for the eligible military service members. Those who qualify will be contacted by email.

That’s not to say that everything is perfect. The Department of Education doesn’t have the best track record in communicating with qualifying borrowers. However, the agency quickly responded and reassured the public that these wouldn’t affect approved claims.