Students' loans turned out to be a nightmare for an entire generation. Young people borrowed money to invest in their future and were hit with repayment schedules they couldn’t meet.
Interest rates spiraled out of control, and many just gave up.
The good news is that you can take advantage of student loan forgiveness programs and have your loan repaid in full or partially.
Read along and learn how to prepare for it, the eligibility criteria, and how to get your student loan forgiven!
Who Can Get Student Loan Forgiveness?
To be eligible for forgiveness, you need to satisfy the following requirements:
- It must be a federal student loan - not a private one
- You should be earning no more than $125,000 for an individual or $250,000 per household
Get Student Loan Forgiveness as a Pell Grant Recipient
You can get up to $10,000 in forgiveness if you meet the criteria above. If you qualified for a Pell Grant during your education, you can be eligible for an additional $10,000 for a total of $20,000 in loan forgiveness.
Pell Grants are special scholarships granted to undergraduate students with financial needs. The grant is a result of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to promote access to education.
Students Loans That Qualify for Forgiveness
Thanks to recent work done by the government many federal students' loans qualify for loan forgiveness. If your loan was eligible for a government loan payment pause, chances are it will qualify for this forgiveness opportunity.
However, if you did not receive a pause and it is still in the hands of a private lender, your chances of getting forgiveness are smaller.
In this case, you can only get forgiveness if the government, through the ministry of education, strikes a deal with third parties to forgive your debt.
Take note that private student loans cannot qualify for forgiveness. This is because you owe independent providers, not the federal government.
Do I Qualify for Forgiveness If My Loan has Defaulted?
You still qualify for federal loan forgiveness if your student loan defaults. This also applies if debt collection activities on your loan were halted during the national loan payment pause.
What Is A Fresh Start Program?
Through the federal department Fresh Start Program, you are allowed to restore your credit to good standing. Some of the loans that qualify for a fresh start include;
- Direct loans
- Federal family education loans
- Perkin loans that are under the Department of Education
Additionally, you are still eligible for forgiveness if you used your student loan for other purposes like a professional degree, alternative certification, or a trade program.
On the same note, if you take another loan after a fresh start, the new loan will not be affected by the fresh start. However, if you default on the new loan, you will be reported to a collection agency for appropriate action.
How Much Debt Will Be Forgiven?
The amount of debt to be forgiven will depend on whether you received a Pell grant. With a Pell Grant, you are entitled up to $20,000 in debt cancellation. Other student borrowers who meet all income criteria qualify for loan forgiveness of $10,000.
If your student loan is below the amount you qualify for, your relief will be capped to pay the amount you owe.
For instance, if your student debt is $7,000 and you have qualified for $9,000 relief, you will only be given an amount equivalent to what you owe.
How to Prepare for Student Loan Forgiveness
To prepare to get your loan forgiven, you can review your student aid record by registering on StudentAid.gov, which is the Federal Student Aid Website. You can see your account and information about your Pell Grant.
You can sign up on the department of education’s news portal to receive updates that will let you know when you can apply and the deadlines to do so.
Get Student’s Loan Forgiveness
If you think you qualify, you should contact your loan servicer. In the case of a Perkin loan, you should reach out to the school that made the loan or the loan servicer designated to the school. You might be required to make some payments during your application review.
Why Loan Forgiveness Still May leave Pell Grant Recipients in the Cold
Pell Grant recipients are still affected by loan forgiveness because Pell Grants hardly cover college expenses. Recipients secure extra loans to cater for other necessary expenses; thus, getting a $20,000 forgiveness cannot settle all the loans.
Lynn Hunt, a data analyst in Portland, Oregon, says on top of the Pell Grant, she borrowed roughly 50,000 to join the University of Wisconsin. But unfortunately, she has only been able to pay back 15,000 and still owes 70,000 because of interest.
What does this tell you? Pell Grant recipients have a hard time repaying their loans, but you have no reason to fret!
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Other Ways to Qualify For the Affordable Connectivity Program
In case you don’t meet the above income requirements, you still have a chance of qualifying if one of your household members receives assistance from certain federal assistance program.
If you received a Pell Grant for the current year, you could easily qualify with EASY Wireless. Some of the other programs include:
- National School Lunch Program (SLP)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Supplemental nutrition assistance program (food stamps or snap)
- Supplemental security income
- Federal public housing assistance
- Veterans and Survivors pension benefit
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