IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - For information about the Biden-Harris Student Debt Relief Plan and Income Driven Repayment (IDR) CLICK HERE.
Student Loan Relief Programs
A couple of federal debt relief programs have been announced recently. You may be wondering if you qualify and what actions, if any, you should take now or in the future. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has not released all of the details on how to access these programs, but we have detailed what we know so far below.
- Biden-Harris Debt Relief Plan
- Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Program
- Extension of the federal student loan repayment pause for eligible loans held by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). During the repayment pause, no payments are required, and the interest rate is set at 0%. Only loans held by ED are eligible for the repayment pause. If you have federal loans with VSAC, you should explore your eligibility to consolidate your loans with ED to qualify.
Biden-Harris Debt Relief Plan
NEW INFORMATION as of 11/11/22: The Department of Education has announced that they are not currently accepting applications for this debt relief as a result of the courts issuing orders to block this student debt relief program. You can find additional information and sign up for updates on their website at studentaid.gov.
On Aug. 24, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a Student Debt Relief Plan for borrowers with individual income less than $125,000 (or $250,000 for households). The plan includes:
- an extension of the federal student loan repayment pause implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic for eligible loans held by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
- targeted debt cancellation of up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients
- targeted debt cancellation of up to $20,000 to Pell Grant recipients
Find out more about eligibility at StudentAid.gov
View your Pell Grant history at StudentAid.gov
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does my VSAC FFELP loan qualify for this debt cancellation program?
On September 29, 2022, the Department of Education announced that FFEL student loan borrowers were no longer eligible to participate in the Biden-Harris One-time Student Loan Debt Relief Program. FFEL borrowers who followed the Department's previous guidance and submitted a consolidation application with the Department of Education prior to September 29, 2022, will be eligible to receive loan cancellation if they meet the other requirements of the program.
The Department indicates that it is assessing whether there are alternate paths for FFEL borrowers to participate in the Biden-Harris One-time Student Loan Debt Relief Program. VSAC is working with Congressman Welch and Senators Sanders and Leahy to enable FFEL borrowers to regain their eligibility to participate in the program as originally promised by the Department of Education.
Private loans (such as VSAC’s Student or Parent loans, also known as “Advantage loans”) are not eligible for this program.
- What if I have defaulted VSAC student loans?
VSAC will update the Manage Loan Default page with student loan relief measures available to impacted borrowers with loans in default.
- I have questions about which loans are eligible and more - where can I get more information?
Answers to many frequently asked questions about the Biden-Harris Debt Relief Program can be found at StudentAid.gov.
Income Driven Repayment (IDR) Program
On April 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced several changes and updates that will bring borrowers closer to forgiveness under income-driven repayment (IDR) plans. These adjustments to borrower accounts include conducting a one-time revision of IDR payment counters to address past inaccuracies (including automatically discharging loans for eligible borrowers) and permanently fixing IDR payment counting by reforming ED’s IDR tracking procedures going forward.
If you have a VSAC Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loan, you must consolidate your loans with the U.S. Department of Education by the end of 2023 to receive the benefit of the IDR account adjustments.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit the Income-Driven Repayment page on StudentAid.gov