(WSPA) – Starting in October, 40 million people will see some of their student loans forgiven.
The White House said half of all Americans who are paying off Federal student loans will have their debt entirely erased.
Chelsie Edwards, a senior at USC Upstate, is not only one of them; you might say she is one of the luckiest.
Edwards owes $20,000, the exact limit of debt relief for Pell Grant recipients.
“It’s still kind of surprising because I was dependent on one thing, but this came up, and I think this is a deal breaker for me,” Edwards said.
For other Federal student loan borrows, that limit drops to $10,000, which happens to be the exact amount Jennings Pruitt owes.
“We were just hoping and praying, absolutely so grateful that we could get our loans forgiven because my dad has been out of work with some degenerative muscle and hasn’t been able to work for multiple years so it’s really just a blessing,” Pruitt said.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO PREPARE
So, what do Pruitt and Edwards need to do to prepare?
First, borrowers should log into StudentAid.gov and sign up to receive text alerts.
Haven’t logged in in a while? No problem, the site offers tips to help you access your account. If you don’t have one, you can create one.
Then, make sure your loan servicer has your most current contact information. Don’t know who that is? StudentAid.gov will have it right on your account’s dashboard.
- your individual income must be less than $125,000
- or less than $250, married filing jointly
- NOTE: those limits are based on your adjusted gross income (AGI) on your tax return for -either- 2021 or 2020, you choose
WHAT LOANS ARE INCLUDED?
Bonnie Carson Durham, the Financial Aid Director at USC Upstate, said the Department of Education already knows what Federal loans you have, so if you are a Pell Grant recipient, you don’t need to prove it.
“There are private loans that are not included in this program, and there may be a few federal loans that are not included that have been sourced out to private institutions. Any of the loans that are paused right now, if they are paused, they will be eligible,” Carson Durham said.
Even student loans that are in default are eligible.
It was back in March of 2020 that the pause on Federal Student Loan payments began. Many people who’ve made payments since then can apply for a reimbursement.
Any remaining balance after the loan forgiveness will be recalculated and could reduce your monthly payments.
Of course, for Pruitt and Edwards, that balance will be zero, which helps pave the way for the cost of their graduate school.
“It does blow my mind because when me and my mom were looking at all the options, I was like I know somebody will help us out,” Pruitt said.
“It would be a great feeling of walking across the stage and knowing that I would be debt free while doing that,” Edwards said.
We should note anytime a big government program involves money, scammers aren’t far behind.
Several people have contacted 7NEWS about scam phone calls from bogus organizations claiming to facilitate the loan forgiveness program.
You should only be dealing directly with your exact loan servicer and StudentAid.gov for this debt relief.