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What you need to know about the student loan forgiveness applications

On Aug. 24, President Joe Biden announced that the Department of Education would be giving up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness to some borrowers. Applications for the relief are now open. 

Here are the basics to understanding the application.

How long will the application stay open?

The application for federal student loan forgiveness opened Oct. 17 at and will remain open until Dec. 31, 2023.

How do I complete the application?

The application requires no documents and is estimated to take five minutes to complete. Information necessary for the application includes name, date of birth, phone number, email and Social Security Number. The application can be completed in English or Spanish.

How much relief can I get?

Biden’s announcement said the Department of Education would forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loans for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients. The relief is not taxed.

How is eligibility determined?

Anyone with unpaid federal student loans can apply. 

The amount of relief is determined by income from the 2020 or 2021 tax year, and applicants must make less than $125,000 a year to be eligible, excluding jointly-filing married couples making less than $250,000 per year. 

I’m a student. Can I still apply?

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Current students are eligible for forgiveness, but borrowers who filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a dependent student will have their eligibility based on their parents’ incomes.

I have Direct PLUS Loans. Does the forgiveness program still apply to me?

Parents of undergraduate students and graduate students who have Direct PLUS Loans may also be eligible for the relief.

Who does this impact?

Nationwide, the relief is expected to help 43 million Americans. The Department of Education says it already has the income information on file for 8 million borrowers who will automatically receive the relief unless they choose to opt out.

At Miami University, 13% of students in 2019 received Pell Grants, which are given to students with high financial need. Although Miami ranked lowest for percentage of Pell Grants among Ohio public universities, many students will still receive relief if they choose to apply.

Applicants can visit the Federal Student Aid website to get more information.