Some student-loan borrowers have just 1 month left to get closer to debt cancellation — and they need to take action

Advertisement
Some student-loan borrowers have just 1 month left to get closer to debt cancellation — and they need to take action
Getty Images
  • Some student-loan borrowers have one month left to benefit from one-time account adjustments.
  • Borrowers who do not have qualifying loans need to consolidate by April 30.
Advertisement

Some student-loan borrowers have just one month to get closer to debt relief.

President Joe Biden's Education Department is nearing the end of its one-time account adjustment for borrowers on income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

First implemented last summer, the adjustment allowed the department to evaluate borrowers' accounts every other month to determine which borrowers qualified for debt relief but had yet to receive it. The department said it expects adjustments to be completed by July 1 — and while it happens automatically for some borrowers, others will need to take action soon to benefit from the temporary provision.

To benefit from the adjustment, borrowers must be in the federal direct loan program or the Federal Family Education Loan program with government-held loans. The department recommends that For those without qualifying loans apply to consolidate into one of the programs by April 30.

"In general, it takes at least 60 days to process a direct consolidation loan application and to disburse the new loan," the department's guidance said.

Advertisement

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also released an advisory in early March reminding borrowers of the consolidation deadline. It said that borrowers with the following federal loans will need to consolidate to benefit from the adjustment:

  • Commercially held FFEL loans

  • Parent PLUS loans

  • Perkins loans

  • Health Education Assistance Loan Program loans

To consolidate, borrowers can go to studentaid.gov/loan-consolidation.

In August, the Education Department wiped out $39 billion in student debt for 800,000 borrowers — the first group to see relief through the account adjustment. Since then, the department has continued to enact targeted relief for borrowers due to the reform, most recently forgiving $5 billion in student loans for 74,000 borrowers through the adjustment.

At the same time, the Education Department is rolling out a range of efforts intended to ease repayment for borrowers. Through its new SAVE income-driven repayment plan, 153,000 borrowers were recently approved for $1.2 billion in relief — a result of a SAVE provision that allows borrowers who originally borrowed $12,000 or less to get relief with as few as 10 years of qualifying payments.

However, the future of SAVE is uncertain, given a new lawsuit from 11 GOP state attorneys general to block the program and prevent relief from reaching borrowers. An Education Department official told Business Insider it "won't stop fighting to provide support and relief to borrowers across the country — no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us."

Advertisement
{{}}