The Department of Education on 10/17/2022 launched the application for the federal student loan forgiveness program. Borrowers who qualify may see relief in as soon as 6 weeks. While most attendings that have been practicing a while will not qualify, this will be important for residents, fellows, and APPs.
What is Federal Student Loan Debt Relief?
A program that provides eligible borrowers with full or partial discharge of federal loans up to $20,000 to Federal Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 to non-Pell Grant recipients
What Does It Take To Qualify For Federal Student Loan Relief?
- Loans must be federal loans. No private loans or refinanced loans to a private lender will qualify.
- Individuals who made less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021
- Couples who made less than $250,000 in 2020 or 2021
When Is The Deadline?
As of this posting:
December 31, 2023 is the deadline to apply for federal student loan relief.
What Will You Need To Apply?
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- Email Address
Thats it. If the government cannot verify your income, you may be asked to provide supplemental documents in a follow up email.
Where To Apply
I have linked here directly to the official government application on the Student Aid website. Don’t fall for scams. Make sure you are at studentaid.gov for the correct application that I have linked here.
What If I Refinanced My Student Loans?
If you refinanced your student loans outside of a government refinance program, then you will not be eligible.
While I understand the frustration. Keep in mind that you (like me) took advantage of refinancing your loans to a lower interest rate with the intention to have those benefits.
While most practicing attendings will not qualify, recent graduates, fellows, or residents will most likely qualify for debt relief if they did not refinance.
Will This Student Loan Relief Be Taxed?
No, not at the Federal level, you will not owe federal taxes on this specific program. However, some states may be able to tax this debt relief. Check with your local state or accountant to see if you may owe taxes on student loan relief from this program.
What If I Am Still In School?
You most likely are eligible for this student loan relief. However, if you are listed as a dependent on your taxes, then your eligibility will be based on your parents income or whoever filed taxes with you as a dependent.
What If I Already Paid Off My Federal Loan Or Over Paid?
From the studentaid.gov website:
“If you made voluntary payments during the payment pause (from March 13, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2022) and your current loan balance is below the amount of debt relief you’ll receive, after you successfully apply for and receive debt relief under the Administration’s debt relief plan, we’ll automatically refund the amount you paid during the payment pause (only up to the remaining amount of your eligible debt relief).”
For more details on specific circumstances check here.