Financial relief coming for some student loan borrowers

The Federal Student Loan Debt Relief application is now open for qualifying federal student loan borrowers. The relief plan offers working- and middle-class borrowers up to $20,000 in a one-time student loan forgiveness relief credit.    

The Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan is a three-part plan including an extension of the student loan repayment pause and improving the repayment process to help future payments more manageable in addition to the debt relief forgiveness.  

Pell Grant recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 student loan credit, and non-Pell Grant borrowers can receive up to $10,000 in relief credit. 

“The student debt relief plan will help borrowers and families continue to recover from the pandemic and prepare to resume student loan payments in January 2023,” the White House said in a “Fact Sheet” statement released on Sept. 20.  

Oshiona Hart, a junior biology major and treasurer of Tri Beta, appreciates the assistance with her student loans. “After I graduate, I’m planning on going to medical school,” she said. “So, this little relief is kind of like taking that burden away a little bit.”  

According to, the following types of federal student loans with an outstanding balance as of June 30, 2022, are eligible for relief: 

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans 
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by ED or in default at a guaranty agency 
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program loans held by ED 
  • Defaulted loans (includes ED-held or commercially serviced Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, parent PLUS, and graduate PLUS; and Perkins loans held by ED) 

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First-year psychology major Raven Denton worries about those who do not qualify after taking out a lot of student loans for college. 

I feel like the criteria is [an issue]. Some people probably have taken out so much, but there’s a certain criteria that they couldn’t meet,” she said. “Therefore, they wouldn’t be able to get this Relief Fund. I’d be pretty mad about that.” 

The application is short and does not require the borrower’s FSA ID or any additional documentation up front. If the U.S. Department of Education needs more information, they will contact the borrower directly. 

Biology major and first-year student Aaron Drumgoole filled out the application when the beta version opened over the weekend. “It was really easy. It was only one page, and all I had to do was put in my Social Security and pick which category I went into [to make sure I qualify],” he said. 

Drumgoole is waiting to hear back from the Department of Education so they can verify his parent’s tax information since he is a dependent. 

Applicants need to fall in one of the following categories:  

  • I made less than the required income to file federal taxes. 
  • I filed as a single tax-filer AND made less than $125,000. 
  • I was married, filed my taxes separately, AND made less than $125,000. 
  • I was married, filed my taxes jointly, AND made less than $250,000. 
  • I filed as a head of household AND made less than $250,000. 
  • I filed as a qualifying widow(er) AND made less than $250,000.

The Federal Student Loan Debt Relief application is available on a desktop or mobile device and is available until December 31, 2023.