Student loan debt relief, forgiveness program deadlines looming

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The deadlines for certain student loan debt relief and forgiveness programs are looming, so during the 403rd Wing’s October Unit Training Assembly, Master Sgt. Glenda McQuirter, career advisor for the 403rd Operations Group, led a course for the wing’s professional development council, 403rd University, that guided Airmen through the process of applying for these programs.

Last year, the Department of Education established the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program aimed at simplifying the long-standing PSLF application process as well as covering individuals who previously did not qualify for loan forgiveness and allowing partial loan forgiveness. The program provides loan forgiveness for public service workers that have made 120 qualifying payments on their consolidated loan.

 “This temporary process basically cuts through a lot of the red tape, but the deadline to apply this way is Oct. 31,” said McQuirter. “To apply you need to first find out if your loan is eligible, which you can check on the Federal Student Aid website. Once you determine who your loan provider is, fill out the TPSLF form then submit it to your loan provider via mail, fax or by using the loan provider’s help tool.”

According to the Federal Student Aid website, using the help tool takes around 30 minutes and all an individual needs is their employer identification number which they can find on their W-2 form. As long as an individual has completed the help tool process, by the Oct. 31 deadline, they are eligible for the expanded PSLF.

“Once you submit your application, the system will verify your 120 qualifying payments,” she said.

For more information on eligibility requirements or to apply visit the Federal Student Aid website.

In another effort to aid borrowers, earlier this year, President of the United States Joseph R. Biden, announced his administration’s three-part plan to provide student loan relief to past, present, and future borrowers.

The first part of that plan is underway as, according to the statement released by the White House, the Department of Education is set to provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the department and up to $10,000 to non-Pell Grant Recipients.

The application process to capitalize on this one-time relief opportunity is open and will close Dec. 31, 2022. Despite a current block of the relief by an appeals court, borrowers are encouraged to still apply.

“The initial application process for the debt relief is very easy,” said McQuirter. “You enter information and certify that you meet the requirements and they do the rest.”

To qualify, applicants must have a salary of less than $125,000 or, if married, less than $250,000 in 2020 or 2021. Applicants may be asked to provide proof of qualifying wages. Eligible loans are William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan Program, Federal Perkins Loan Program, and defaulted loans.

For more information or to apply click here.

“I graduated in 2008 and have been paying towards my student loans since 2009,” she said. “With these programs I’ll be able to start putting that money toward other things like paying my house off earlier.”