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Washington State University
Student Financial Services Federal Government Announcements related to Federal Loans
Federal Government Announcements related to Federal Loans

One Time Student Loan Cancellation

The Biden-Harris Administration and the Department of Education have recently announced a plan for student loan forgiveness. This plan is intended to provide debt relief to low and middle income families, as well as to make student loans more manageable for current and future borrowers. There will be further information on this plan to be released addressing concerns such as eligibility and how to apply for debt relief.

Borrowers who have received the Pell Grant and have an income of below 125,000 for individuals or 250,000 for couples and heads of households may be eligible for up to 20,000 in loan forgiveness. Those who did not receive the Pell Grant and meet the income thresholds may be eligible for up to 10,000 in loan forgiveness.

**Borrowers who have made payments towards their loans since March 2020 and now, that would have been forgiven can also request a refund.

**Only Federal Loans with an outstanding balance before June 30 2022 are eligible for loan cancellation

In order to determine if you have received the Pell Grant, you will need to log in with your FSA ID at studentaid.gov. On the dashboard, you will navigate to “My Aid”, which should display a chart with loans and grants. Click on “view details”, and you will be able to see what Pell Grant amounts you have been awarded.

In order to determine eligibility for student loan forgiveness, please refer to the student aid website. Our office cannot determine student loan forgiveness eligibility.

There will be an application which will be made available by the Department of Education at some point before the expiration of the Covid-19 Payment Pause on December 31st, 2022.

For further information, please refer to the announcement page on the student aid website. You can also subscribe to email updates on the student debt relief plan from the Department of Education through the subscriptions page.

Student Loan Payment Pause

Until December 31, 2022, a federal student loan payment pause has been put into place. The payment pause includes a suspension of loan payments, 0% interest rate, and stopped collections on defaulted loans. These are only applicable to federal student loans. Eligible loans will automatically have their payments paused. Information on the loan payment pause can be found on the studentaid.gov page.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

It is important to recognize the value that employees for public services provide to the community. As such, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program allows for qualifying federal student loans to be forgiven after 120 payments while as an employee of a public service employer. Borrowers interested in the PSLF program should visit the PSLF program page at the Department of Education in order to determine eligibility and to apply.

In order to be eligible for the PSLF program, one must be working for an eligible employer, only qualifying federal student loans may be forgiven, and 120 qualifying payments must be made towards this loan.

Further information describing eligibility requirements for the PSLF program are listed on the PSLF page. There is also a tool provided by the student aid website which can assist in determining your eligibility for the PSLF program. A StudentAid.gov account is needed to be able to use the eligibility tool.

The Department of Education has announced a limited PSLF waiver to allow federal student loan borrowers to receive credit for past payments that would not normally qualify for PSLF. This limited PSLF waiver will end on October 31 2022. Further information can be found on the Department of Education student aid announcements. An article

Fresh Start

To provide assistance to student loan borrowers currently in default, the Department of Education announced the Fresh Start program on April 6, 2022. The Fresh Start program is intended to provide student aid and credit reporting benefits to those with eligible loans in default. The program is to continue for one year after the Covid-19 payment pause.

Those with eligible loans may receive access to federal student aid, collections relief, further eligibility for government loans, and the ability to rehabilitate loans, with further benefits available later in the year.

The Department of Education will release further instruction regarding the Fresh Start program, and they advise that those interested ensure that their loan holders have their up-to-date contact information, as further information on Fresh Start will be communicated through there.

For further information on the Fresh Start program, please refer to the Fresh Start announcement on the student aid website.