Follow These Steps To Get Your Student Loan Forgiveness

The Biden administration's announcement that qualifying borrowers can receive up to $20,000 in forgiveness on federally held student loans first elicited cheers from many of the 43 million Americans eligible to have their debt wiped. Then came a barrage of questions.

The Department of Education has offered some information on what borrowers can expect and will release more in the coming weeks.

For now, there are several key dates to know: Applications will open online in early October and take four to six weeks to process, the department has said. That means that borrowers should fill out forms by November 15, according to a graphic posted by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in order to receive forgiveness by the time a pandemic-era payment pause ends on December 31. Applications close next year on December 31, 2023. Separately, applications for limited expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program close on October 31.

Here are some steps you can take to be prepared when applications become available:

1. Check if you’re eligible.

If you made less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 — or if you’re married and you and your spouse made less than $250,000 — and you took out federal student loans prior to June 30, 2022, you’ll qualify for forgiveness. The number to check is your adjusted gross income, or AGI, on tax returns from either of the past two years.