Student loan forgiveness: What you need to know and how to apply

Grace Monk, Editor

On Aug. 24 the Biden-Harris administration announced their plan for student loan forgiveness. The application will be open through Dec. 31, and it is important for Viterbo students and faculty to apply while they can. 

The administration’s plan will provide debt relief to millions of loan borrowers throughout the nation. Individuals who earned less than $125,000 in either 2020 or 2021, and married couples or heads of households who made less than $250,000, will receive up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness. Individuals that meet the criteria and who received a Pell Grant will receive up to $20,000. Borrowers can see if they received a Pell Grant by logging into their account. 

Debt relief will only be available to individuals with direct loans. Relief will apply to most federal graduate and undergraduate loans, but borrowers should check their eligibility before applying. Federal PLUS loans borrowed by graduate students and parents may also be eligible if the borrower meets the requirements. Consolidation loans are only eligible if the original loans are Education Department-held and were disbursed before June 30, 2022. Loans not held by the Education Department are not eligible unless they were consolidated before Sept. 29, 2022. 

The administration also announced an extension of the student loan payment pause. Borrowers will not receive interest on their loans or be required to make payments until Jan. 1, 2023.  Loan repayment only applies to individuals with loans that are no longer in school and have surpassed their 6-month grace period. For all borrowers, interest will begin to accrue on loans in 2023. 

The student loan pause began in March 2020 and has had multiple extensions since. Many undergraduates at Viterbo have not received interest charges thus far. It is important for students to check the interest rates on their loans and how it accrues. Students can access this information, as well as the types of loans they have, on 

The Education Department advises loan borrowers to be aware of scams and avoid giving information to sources outside of the Education Department. Companies that offer to help with loan forgiveness for a fee should not be trusted. Help with student aid is free and borrowers should only work with the Education Department and their loan servicer. Scam attempts should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357 or by visiting 

The application will open early October 2022 and be available on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.  Viterbo students and faculty should take advantage of this opportunity while they can.