Student Loan Relief Application is Open
Here's what STEM Diverse Students Need to Know
President Biden officially launched the application Monday after the Education Department opened the form over the weekend as part of a beta test, hoping to find and remedy any glitches on the site.
According to NBC News almost half of Latino student debt is expected to be forgiven under Biden. Most Latinos in postsecondary education come from low-income households and are the first in their families to go to college
The initial $10,000 of federal student loan forgiveness will allow about half of all Latino borrowers to have their entire debt forgiven, according to Excelencia in Education. Latinos are more than likely than their non-Latino white counterparts to default on their loans — 35% compared to 20%. The rate increases by 5% for those who didn’t complete their degree. Those with a bachelor’s degree still face a default rate two times higher than their white peers in part due to the difference in earnings among all bachelor’s degree graduates.
Of those Latinos who have borrowed to pay for college, 23% took out loans under $10,000 and 26% received loans of between $10,000 and $50,000. Almost 7 in 10 (67%) Latino student borrowers have educational debt, according to the Education Data Initiative. Thirty-three percent of Latino borrowers said they put off marriage and 37% delayed having children because of their student debt.
What is known so far about the application:
Biden’s forgiveness program will cancel $10,000 in student debt for those earning less than $125,000 per year or households with less than $250,000 per year in income. Pell grant recipients, who generally demonstrate greater financial need, will receive an additional $10,000 in debt forgiveness (Pell Grants do not have to be repaid).
Most people with federal student loans are below the income threshold and would qualify for Biden’s plan. Undergraduate loans, graduate loans and Parent Plus loans held by the Education Department are all eligible for cancellation.
The Department of Education updated its website in late September saying that people with federal loans owned by private banks, including the FFEL program and Perkins loans, will no longer be eligible unless they have already consolidated their loans into the government’s Direct Loan program by Sept. 29. The agency said it is still looking for a solution to expand relief.
– Deadline to apply: The application will be available until Dec. 31, 2023.
– How to apply: The form is active on studentaid.gov and is available in English and Spanish.
– What’s needed: The form requires only basic information, including name, date of birth, Social Security number, phone number and an email address. Borrowers will not need what is known as an FSA ID to log into the application, nor will they need to upload any documents.
Anyone who submits false information could be subject to penalties including fines or imprisonment. Applications will be reviewed by the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office and matched with borrowers’ federal records to confirm eligibility.
– How income is verified: Instead of having to provide documents verifying an individual earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021, or a couple less than $250,000, the application simply asks borrowers to check a box to “certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that all information provided on this form is true and correct.”
A Biden Administration official said in a call with reporters that the Department of Education will closely compare the information provided by applicants with the loan and income information it already has on file. In the event of discrepancies, the Department “will work with borrowers to obtain additional documentation.”
– How long it will take: The Department of Education said in court documents that Oct. 23 would be the earliest it could begin processing applications to cancel debts.
When asked by NPR news media how long those who complete the application will have to wait to have their debts canceled, the official said, “A matter of weeks.” The timing is important because the Department wants to clear as many debts as possible before student loan payments resume in January.
In September, Cardona told NPR, “I will tell you, [by] January 1 when [loan repayment resumes], we have to have all that set up. So we know that, between October and before the loans restart, not only is the information going to be needed by all borrowers, but we’re going to have to be done with that process.”
On a call with reporters, a senior administration official backed up Cardona’s timeline, saying the department plans to quickly process applications in November and December to discharge debts and limit borrower confusion come January.
Lastly, At IOScholarships, we want to make sure that diverse and minority students have access to clear information about the qualifications for Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan.
Summary Eligibility for Biden’s Student Loan Cancellation Plan
- You must earn less than $125,000 a year for individuals, or $250,000 for married couples and/or head of households. Individual borrowers who make under $125,000 annually are eligible for up to $10,000 in forgiveness. Current and former Pell Grant recipients are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in forgiveness if they meet the income requirements. The plan would cancel up to $20,000 in debt for current federal student loan borrowers and parent PLUS loan borrowers.
- You must have current outstanding debt on federal student loans, including parent PLUS loans, obtained before June 30, 2022.
- Current students who are dependents must use their parents’ or legal guardians’ income to determine eligibility.
- Federal loans taken out for undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional degrees qualify.
- If you never finished your degree or are still in school, you can still qualify as long as your loans were disbursed by June 30, 2022.
- If you defaulted on your federal student loans, you may still qualify for debt relief. If your loans are in default, you can likely still qualify for forgiveness.
- If you continued to make payments on federal student loans during the payment pause starting in March 2020, or if you paid off those loans during the payment pause, those payments may be refunded.
- If you used federal student loans to pay for community college, a trade program, professional degree or other alternative certification, you’re still eligible for forgiveness.
IOScholarships urges students to apply for scholarships instead of incurring student debt. To apply for scholarships, use IOScholarships free scholarship matching tool. Every dollar you win is about a dollar less you’ll have to borrow. Apply today! To get more information on how to win scholarships read the following article:
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