How do I get my student loans forgiven? Qualifying for Biden's debt relief, explained.

Medora Lee

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will provide $20,000 in debt relief to Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for many other borrowers.

Roughly 43 million Americans hold federal student loan debt to the tune of $1.6 trillion, according to recent federal data. Biden's move has an individual income cap of $125,000.

The president also announced an extension of the pandemic pause on student loan payments through the end of this year. Payments will resume in January 2023.

How do I apply?

The application will be available mid-October, officials said. 

Who qualifies for Biden's student loan forgiveness? 

Undergraduate and graduate students are expected to receive forgiveness of up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers making under $125,000 a year or couples making less than $250,000 a year. Private loans will not be forgiven.

Students who borrowed money under the Pell Grant program for low-income students will qualify for up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness. 

How to get student loan forgiveness

The Education Department said nearly 8 million borrowers are likely to have their loans forgiven automatically because the agency already has information about their income.

More details for them and other borrowers will be coming in the next few weeks.

The remaining borrowers will have to apply for loan forgiveness, and the applications will be available "no later" than Dec. 31, when the freeze on student loan payments ends.

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Contributing: Chris Quintana