President Joe Biden announced a three-part plan to provide student debt loan relief. This will affect nurses at every level of education and experience.
The President’s three-part plan cuts monthly payments in half for low-income borrowers, provides repayment credit for certain types of work experience, works to reduce the cost of college in the future, and provides targeted debt relief for low-to-middle income borrowers.
As part of a three-part plan being administered in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education, nurses whose individual income is less than $125,000 (or whose household income is less than $250,000) will be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt cancellation.
Expert advice from nurses like you
Targeted student debt relief will help nurses earning less than $125,000
Here is what you need to know about whether you are eligible for the debt cancellation program:
- You must have one of the following loans:
- Direct subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans
- Parent Plus Loans
- Direct Stafford Loans
- Grad Loans
- Your annual income must be below $125,000 (individual) or $250,000 (married or head of household).
- If you received a Pell Grant in college and meet the above-listed income threshold you will be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt cancellation.
- If you did not receive a Pell Grant in college and meet the above-listed income threshold you will be eligible for up to $10,000 in debt cancellation.
- Borrowers who are dependent students will be eligible for relief based on their parents’ income rather than on their own.
- If you qualify for the relief listed above, your debt cancellation is limited to no more than the amount of your outstanding debt. For instance, if you qualify for $20,000 in debt cancellation and you have $13,000 remaining to be paid, you will receive $13,000 in debt relief.
What nurses need to do to claim student debt relief
Student debt cancellation represents a significant relief for countless nurses. Whether you are currently in school or have been carrying student debt for decades, here is what you need to know in order to obtain student debt relief under the Biden plan.
- The Department of Education has set up a subscription page for notification of when the application process begins. You can sign up here to receive these notifications. Simply enter your email address and check off the top box that reads “Federal Student Loan Borrower Updates.”
- If you are one of the 8 million borrowers for whom the U.S. Department of Education has income information, you will receive relief automatically.
- If the U.S. Department of Education does not have your income information (or you are not sure whether they do or not), an application will become available within the next few weeks. If you have signed up for notifications for Federal Student Loan Borrower Updates you will receive an email letting you know when the application is available.
- While you are waiting for the application to become available, the pause on federal student loan payments will remain in effect until December 31st, 2022. The application will be available prior to the pause expiring.
Not all nurses will qualify for the federal student loan debt forgiveness program
Though it is anticipated that President Biden’s action will help millions, it will not address debt on loans that do not qualify. Fortunately, there are other student loan forgiveness programs available for nurses. These include:
- The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program pays up to 85% of unpaid nursing education for up to three years of work in under-resourced communities.
- The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program offers loan forgiveness to nurses who have worked full time and who have made 120 non-consecutive payments for working 30+ hours for a government or nonprofit agency.
- The Federal Perkins loan cancellation and discharge program is available to nurses who had previously taken out federal Perkins loans and who work full time.
- Military nursing student loan forgiveness is available for nurses who have served in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
- State nursing student loan forgiveness programs are available in most states for nurses who work in critical needs areas.
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If you are a nurse carrying a student loan that is eligible for federal student loan forgiveness and your individual income is under $125,000, sign up immediately to be notified by the U.S. Department of Education when more information becomes available. You will not need to prove that you qualify for the loan, as the education department has all of the information on the type of loan that you are carrying.
If you are uncertain as to whether the Department of Education has your current income information, fill out the application once it is available. When the debt forgiveness program begins, your new balance and payments will be automatically calculated for you. This is expected to take place at the beginning of 2023.
- “FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Student Loan Relief for Borrowers Who Need It Most.” The White House. Accessed August 26, 2022.
- “How to Qualify for Biden’s New Student Loan Forgiveness Plan.” CNN. Accessed August 26, 2022.
- “Subscriptions.” U.S. Department of Education. Accessed August 26, 2022.
- “The Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan Explained.” Federal Student Aid. Accessed August 26, 2022.