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Still Seeking Student Loan Forgiveness? Here’s What To Do Before The Deadline

Biden has already erased over $100 billion in student debt so far for more than 3.5 million borrowers − more than any other president in history.

The deadline to apply for the student loan forgiveness program is quickly approaching, and nearly a million qualified borrowers have already been notified. For those who do not qualify, there is still a chance to prove your case, according to MARCA.

In November, the White House announced that about 813,000 borrowers were notified via email about the Education Department’s one-time adjustment to their loan accounts. The evaluation was based on which borrowers had met the qualifying payment threshold on their repayment plan. By tapping into existing programs, President Joe Biden has already erased over $100 billion in student debt, so far, for millions of borrowers − more than any other president in history.

Among those student loan forgiveness initiatives, some are approaching key deadlines − including one for Dec. 31 − and require you to plan accordingly. As with these programs, they vary from case to case. So take note. 


Public Service Loan Forgiveness is the most common way borrowers apply to have their student loans forgiven. Any U.S.-based government organization at any level is considered a government employer for the PSLF Program. This program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loan after you’ve made the equivalent of 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer. For more information on eligibility and requirements, visit

“Any borrowers with loans that have accumulated eligible time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years will see automatic forgiveness, even if they are not currently on an IDR plan,” according to the program guidelines published by the Department of Education.

Here’s what to do: Borrowers working in public service must submit an employment certification form and Public Service Loan Forgiveness application no later than the end of 2023. If borrowers have payments remaining after the review, they must enroll in an IDR plan.

However, public service employees who do not qualify for the PSLF loan can appeal their case by completing a form on and attaching evidential documents to help with the case.


If your loan is from a private institution or if you have multiple loans with different payment histories, you still have an opportunity to qualify for debt forgiveness. These include commercially held Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), school-held Perkins loans, or Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL).

Here’s what to do: You’ll need to consolidate your loan into a new Direct Consolidation Loan before Dec. 31 to get credit for that loan under the Income-driven repayment (IDR) account adjustment.


Most programs require that you first get out of default and then apply for forgiveness. Under Biden’s debt cancellation plan, defaulted student loans may be forgiven for eligible borrowers. For example, defaulted Direct Loans aren’t eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program or income-driven repayment plan forgiveness. 

Here’s what to do: Even if your case does not meet the above requirements, you can still enter the program if you exit the default. You can do this through a Direct loan consolidation or by entering the Fresh Start program.

Time is running out! Weigh your options and take action. More will be available in 2024.


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