Confused About Student Loan Forgiveness? Key Dates and Things to Know

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student loan forgiveness
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Student loan forgiveness has been a hot topic since President Biden’s announcement in August. While the program remains on hold as a federal appeals court considers a legal challenge, the question remains: Should you continue to apply? The U.S. Department of Education says “yes.” Here are the key deadlines – and important items to consider – that we’re sharing with you, as well as our Benchmark Federal Credit Union members.

Should I apply?

The U.S. Department of Education continues to encourage eligible borrowers to apply and says it will continue to review applications. If the courts rule in favor of the Biden administration’s plan, the department says it will quickly process debt discharges and borrowers don’t need to reapply. The plan forgives up to $20,000 in federal student loans for millions of low-income to middle-income borrowers.

Nov. 15, 2022

Nov. 15 is the date recommended by the Department of Education by which you should submit your student loan forgiveness application on this website. Roughly eight million borrowers will qualify for automatic student relief since their data is already available to the Department of Education. The remaining 35 million borrowers will be required to complete an application.

To be eligible, your annual income must have fallen below $125,000 for individuals or below $250,000 for married couples or heads of households.

You can register for U.S. Department of Education updates by completing this form.

Dec. 31, 2022

The pause in student loan payments has been set to end on Dec. 31, 2022. On Jan. 1, 2023, interest will begin accruing again and regular payments will resume. This will apply to whatever balance has not been erased by loan forgiveness, or for the entire balance if you have not gotten your application in early. This is an important date for student loan borrowers to note, especially if your balance outweighs the amount forgiven.

Beware of scams

Federal agencies are warning you to be wary of scammers, including entities that may charge a fee for assisting you with applying for relief. Read more helpful information and financial tips monthly on the Benchmark Federal Credit Union blog.

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Rebecca Worthington is the Vice President of Community Relations at Benchmark Federal Credit Union. The only federal credit union to exclusively serve Chester County, Benchmark FCU has been serving the community for more than 80 years and is known for providing extraordinary service. To learn more about the products and services available at Benchmark FCU, visit our website at BenchmarkFCU.org. Anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Chester County is eligible to join Benchmark Federal Credit Union.

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