Hey kids! I’m sure you have all heard about the historic student loan forgiveness plan President Biden enacted. Some of you may not think it effects you because you have your loans through a consolidation servicer.
GUESS WHAT 😲
You can take advantage of this program IF you took out Federal loans (think what you received from your FAFSA filing).
Wait, how do I do that? I’ve been paying my loans through the moratorium because my servicer wasn’t required to pause my payments during 2021-2022.
Ok so, thanks to a tweet I saw by @ReignOfApril - she gave some wild info that you can re-consolidate your federally backed loans to the Federal program again.
Since I learned something I wish I would have known 10 years ago, I wanted to share this with everyone!!
So, if you log into StudentAid.gov and find your loans, as long as you are in good standing, you can re-consolidate.
Find the consolidation section .. it can be tricky to find, so the direct link is https://studentaid.gov/app/launchConsolidation.action
https://studentaid.gov/loan-consolidation/ And then log in.
Now go to this section and click the Start button. 👇🏻
Any eligible loans will be checkmarked and there is an option to add loans not listed. This didn’t apply for me so I didn’t look into it, but it may apply to you so make sure you research any additional loans you have that are not on the list.
Now just fill out the application and connect your account to the IRS website when prompted to automatically get your tax information.
You will also have the option to choose a standard or income based repayment plan towards the end.
Once you have submitted the application, the new servicer you chose will contact you about next steps in the process.
Currently in August 2022, all federal loan payments are suspended until Dec 2022. When your application is processed and your loans are moved to the new servicer, if it is before Dec 2022, you will not have to pay your loans during the moratorium. However, if you can afford it, you can use this time to pay down your loans a bit more during the pause. Details can be found here.
Now, after moving your loans, you should be eligible for the $10,000 forgiveness program if you meet the individual income requirement of earning below $125,000 annually. If you received Pell grants, you may qualify for $20,000 in relief. If you received these grants, you will see if on your loan dashboard on the website.
Once more detail comes to light about the forgiveness program, I’ll make updates if this post becomes incorrect or lacking important data.
Edit 8/30/2022: I’ve found that up to 22 states may tax recipients of this loan forgiveness. Check out the post here to see if your state may tax you, so you are prepared. You will not be taxed federally, so that’s a plus 💜
Edit 9/5/2022: I ran across a good article with some clarifying details on the student loan forgiveness program, who qualifies, and what kind of relief to watch for. If your loans are not in good standing, you are still eligible for the forgiveness. Check out the post here: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/debt/student-loan-forgiveness-faqs/
Edit 10/17/2022: the beta application has been released. Please verify the qualifications before you apply so you know if you qualify or not. There is a hyperlink in the allocation that directs you to a qualification guide. https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Edit 7/16/2023: I've written a second post outlining the new guidelines for student loans after the Supreme Court struck down the original plan noted in this post. The new post is here.