President Joe Biden canceled $ 1.5 billion in student loans through this program, and you can still apply now.
Here’s what you need to know.
Although Biden did not enact large-scale student loan cancellation, there is hope for student loan borrowers to get student loan forgiveness through the borrower’s defense of student loan repayment. . Since becoming president, Biden has canceled nearly $ 10 billion in student loans. This includes $ 1.5 billion in student loan cancellations for 92,000 student loan borrowers under the borrower defense against repayment rule. In July, Biden canceled $ 55.6 million in student loans for more than 1,800 student loan borrowers in the borrower’s defense for repayment. This rule from the Obama era is still available now and could help you get a partial or full cancellation of your student loan. Here’s what you need to know and how to apply:
1. What is the borrower’s defense against repayment?
Under federal law, if your college or university has misled you or engaged in other wrongdoing, you may be eligible for a borrower’s defense against student loan repayment. The borrower’s defense against repayment may result in the cancellation of some or all of your federal student debt. The borrower’s defense against repayment does not apply to your private student loans.
2. Are all Federal Student Loans eligible for Student Loan Cancellation?
No. Only direct loans are eligible for the borrower’s defense against repayment. This means that FFELP loans or Perkins loans are not eligible. (If you are not eligible or if Biden is not canceling your student loans, do these 3 things).
3. How to ask for the borrower’s defense to repayment?
You can ask for the borrower’s defense to repayment by completing a Defense of the borrower on the repayment request through the US Department of Education. You can apply in one of the following three ways. You can send your application by email, submit the application through Federal Student Aid to the US Department, or by mail. The application takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. If you have been misled by more than one school, you must complete an application for each school.
4. Who is eligible to claim the borrower’s defense against repayment?
Any student loan borrower with direct loans who feels they have been misled by their college or university can apply. This can include acts or omissions by your school.
5. What do I need to claim the borrower’s defense against repayment?
To claim the borrower’s defense against repayment, you will need:
- a federal student aid identifier (FSA)
- name of college or university
- name of program, diploma or program of study
- Dates of attendance
- documents to support your request
6. What if I do not have documents to support my borrower defense request for repayment?
Your borrower’s repayment defense request can be strengthened if you have documents to support your request. This may include school promotional material that includes data on employment statistics, income after attendance, or other guarantees or promises, for example. Documentation can also include correspondence you had with the school, which included specific promises that were not kept, or any previous complaints you made at the school. You may want to include your transcript to prove your attendance. If you don’t have such documents, you can still apply and share your story.
7. What if I have questions about my borrower repayment request?
If you have any questions about your borrower defense request for repayment, you can call the borrower defense helpline at 1-855-279-6207. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. You can also confirm that your request was submitted correctly.
8. How will I be notified if my student loan cancellation request has been approved?
The US Department of Education will notify borrower’s defense applicants by email of the Department of Education’s decision to cancel the student loan based on your specific case. A final decision may include the total cancellation of the student loan or the partial cancellation of the student loan. In some cases, student loan borrowers may also be eligible for reimbursement of student loan payments already made on student loans that are canceled. (Here’s how to get a student loan discount).
9. Are there organizations that help student borrowers who have been misled by their college or university?
The student loan cancellation happened in part because of these heroes. There are also many nonprofits that have helped lead the charge and advocate for the rights of student loan borrowers, including those who have been misled by their college or university. These champion advocates are shaping the future of student loans and working tirelessly to ensure that student loan borrowers are fairly shaken up. There are many to recognize, but some include Project on Student Lending at Harvard Law School, Student Debt Crisis, and Student Borrower Protection Center, among others.
The Biden administration will continue to cancel student loans in defense of the borrower on repayment. This is an addition to other student loan cancellations that the Education Department, headed by Secretary Miguel Cardona, has already completed, including billions of dollars for student loan borrowers suffering from a total and permanent disability. If you don’t qualify for any of these student loan cancellations, make sure you understand your other student loan repayment options. Student loan relief ends in a few months, so make sure you’re ready.
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Disclosure: Zack Friedman graduated from Harvard.