Which student loans qualify for forgiveness under Biden’s plan?

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  • Only loans held by the US government are eligible for Biden’s $10,000 forgiveness plan.
  • Private loans and some FFEL and Perkins loans are not eligible for forgiveness.
  • To be eligible for forgiveness, FFEL and Perkins borrowers may be consolidated into one direct loan.

On August 24, President Biden announced he would make student loans at $10,000 per borrower, $20,000 if you received a Pell grant.

To qualify for student loan forgiveness, you must meet the following income requirements:

  • Annual income of $125,000 or less for individuals
  • Annual income of $250,000 or less for married couples who file their taxes together

However, some people might miss out on student loan forgiveness just because they have the wrong type of loan.

Sonia Lewis, student loan expert who has worked with over 20,000 clients to help them navigate their student loans the Student Loan Doctor LLC, says that most people don’t even know their loan type. “The first thing you should do,” she tells Insider, “is log into studentaid.gov and click View Details.” Your loan type is displayed just above the green circle.”

If you can’t remember whether or not you received a Pell scholarship, Lewis says information can be found on the same studentaid.gov dashboard. “If you see two circles, a blue circle and a green circle, it means you have received a Pell Grant and you will receive $20,000.”

A sample screenshot of the Federal Student Aid website dashboard.

If you see two circles, one blue and one green, on your Student Assistance website, you have received a Pell Scholarship and are eligible for $20,000 in student loan forgiveness.


Here is a list of all the different loan types and whether or not they qualify for student loan forgiveness.

What loans are eligible for student loan forgiveness?

In general, the student loans are held by the US government claim for forgiveness.

Types of student loans eligible for forgiveness

  • Direct loans for students and graduates
  • Parents PLUS loan
  • Direct PLUS loans for college graduates and professionals
  • Consolidation Loan (with underlying loans disbursed on or before June 30, 2022)
  • FFEL loan owned by Department of Education
  • Perkins Loan owned by the Department of Education
  • Defaulted loans (including Department of Education held or commercially administered subsidized Stafford, unsubsidized Stafford, Parents PLUS and Graduate PLUS loans, and Perkins loans held by Department of Education)

Service providers who administer student loans held by the US government

  • FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
  • Great Lakes Education Loan Services, Inc.
  • Edfinancial
  • aid
  • net
  • OSLA maintenance
  • ESCI
  • Default resolution group

If your loans are managed by service providers not listed above, they are privately owned.

Which loans do not qualify for student loan forgiveness?

Privately Held FFEL Loans

Some FFEL loans are government-backed loans issued by a private lender. Because they are held by a private lender and not the US government, they are not eligible for student loan forgiveness. The Biden administration is working to waive all privately held FFEL loans, but there’s no timeline yet.

If you have private FFEL loans, you must consolidate your FFEL loans into a direct loan to qualify for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

However, other FFEL loans are held by the US government and these are eligible for forgiveness of $10,000, $20,000 if you received a Pell grant. If you have FFEL loans and they are currently on hold because of the pandemic, they qualify for forgiveness.

Perkins Loan

Perkins Loans are low-interest loans for undergraduate and graduate students who had exceptional financial needs and were discontinued in 2017. Lewis says, “These loans would be repaid to the actual college and not to the government. So the school was able to make the loan with government funded money.”

Because Perkins loans are repaid to schools and not to the federal government, they are not eligible for forgiveness on Biden’s student loans. You can consolidate your Perkins loans into a direct loan for full forgiveness, but that may not be the best plan for you because Perkins loans are fully forgiven after five years Full-time employment in the following professions:

  • Teacher in a public or non-profit school (some part-time teaching positions qualify for forgiveness)
  • nurse or medical technician
  • Qualified professional provider of early intervention services for the disabled
  • Faculty member at a tribal college or university
  • Speech therapist with a master’s degree working at a Title I-qualified elementary or secondary school
  • Librarian with a master’s degree working in a Title I-qualified school
  • law enforcement or correctional officer
  • Lawyer employed by a federal public or local defense organization
  • Employees of a public or private non-profit children’s or family service agency that provides services to high-risk children and their families from low-income communities
  • Employees in the education component of a Head Start program
  • Employees in the educational component of a preschool or child care program that is licensed or regulated by a state
  • Military service in the US Armed Forces under enemy fire or in an immediate danger zone
  • Voluntary cancellation of AmeriCorps VISTA or Peace Corps

Private Student Loans

Private loans held by commercial lenders are not eligible for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Additionally, if you refinanced your state student loans with a private lender, those loans are no longer eligible for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

How do you know what types of credit you have

To find out what type of loan you have, log into studentaid.gov and click My Help from the drop-down menu.

From there, check the Loan Breakdown section for a list of your loans. Click View Loan, then click View Loan Details. Check the names of your loans and look for “direct” – these loans can be forgiven.

If you have FFEL or Perkins loans with Dept. of Ed” or “Default Management Collection System” as the servicer’s name, your loans are owned by the federal government and are eligible for forgiveness.

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