Understanding the $10,000 Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

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10,000 Student Loan Forgiveness

If you’re one of the millions of students juggling federal student loans, you’re not alone in facing some tough financial hurdles. Recent findings from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have brought attention to a concerning trend among student loan holders. It turns out that more than 1 in 13 folks are finding it tricky to manage not just their student loan repayments but also other financial commitments. As of March 2023, around 2.5 million borrowers with student debt have run into a bit of a rough patch, dealing with delinquency on another loan or payment. 

The Student Loan Forgiveness Plan aimed at alleviating some of the pressure on borrowers struggling to repay their education debts. This plan sought to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for eligible individuals, providing much-needed relief to millions of Americans. But unfortunately, it was shot down by Congress. Although the news is understandably upsetting for borrowers, you do have some other options.

What is the $10,000 student loan forgiveness plan?

In 2022, the Biden administration proposed the $10,000 student loan forgiveness plan with the aim of providing relief to qualified federal student loan borrowers. The plan intended to forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for eligible individuals, easing their financial burdens and assisting them in managing their finances more effectively after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Who is eligible for this student loan forgiveness program?

The proposal targeted specific income brackets in which it would forgive loans for those making less than $125,000 a year (for individuals) or $250,000 (for married couples or heads of households). Pell Grant recipients who met the income threshold were eligible for up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness. However, it’s important to note that the plan did not include forgiveness for private loan holders, and ultimately, this proposal did not pass.

What is the Supreme Court’s final decision on the student loan forgiveness plan?

The $10,000 student loan forgiveness plan encountered significant challenges and opposition, ultimately leading to its blockage by the Supreme Court. The Court ruled against the administration’s authority to enact broad student loan forgiveness through executive action, stating that such decisions should be made by Congress rather than the President. Consequently, the plan could not be implemented as initially proposed, dealing a blow to President Joe Biden’s efforts to provide substantial debt relief to millions of borrowers, potentially saving them up to $20,000 in federal debt.

However, President Biden swiftly revealed a multi-pronged backup plan, making it clear that his pursuit of student debt relief is far from over. 

What happens if you already applied and got approved for student loan forgiveness?

If you had applied and been approved for student loan forgiveness under the proposed plan, there is little you can do about it since the Supreme Court has already blocked its enactment. As a result, the government is not allowed to discharge any loans through this specific executive action. Student loan interest will resume on Sept.1, 2023, and payments will be due starting in October, but the exact date is not yet specified. 

What are your other options for now?

While the $10,000 student loan forgiveness plan has been blocked, there are still alternative options to manage and potentially reduce your student loan debt.

1. Income-driven repayment plan

An income-driven repayment plan adjusts your monthly loan payments based on your income and family size. This can make your payments more manageable, and any remaining loan balance after a certain number of years (usually 20 to 25 years) can be forgiven. To apply for this plan, contact your loan servicer or visit the official Federal Student Aid website.

Following the rejection of the $10,000 student loan forgiveness plan by Congress, the Biden-Harris Administration immediately revealed the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, asserting that it stands as the most budget-friendly repayment scheme ever crafted. With this new income-driven repayment plan, borrowers can benefit from a substantial reduction in their monthly payments — slashing them by half. The SAVE plan opens the possibility for many borrowers to make $0 monthly payments. 

2. Public service loan forgiveness (PSLF)

If you work full-time for a qualifying employer, such as a government organization or a non-profit, and make 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan, you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This program forgives the remaining loan balance after meeting the requirements.

3. Refinancing loans

Refinancing your student loans can be a smart move for numerous borrowers, especially those carrying private loans. This option entails obtaining a new loan to clear your existing student debt, potentially granting you better interest rates and repayment terms. It’s a great way for some students to avoid falling behind and damaging their credit scores

However, it’s essential to think through the consequences, especially if you have federal loans. While refinancing can work wonders for private loans, it may not be the most suitable path for federal loans. Refinancing federal loans might lead to the loss of federal loan benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans, loan forgiveness programs, and the ability to use forbearance during financial challenges.

Get Matched With Student Loan Refinancing Offers* In Less Than 60 Seconds.

Consolidating loans

Loan consolidation combines multiple federal student loans into one, resulting in a single monthly payment. While it won’t reduce the overall loan amount, it can simplify your repayment process and offer access to certain repayment plans you might not have qualified for previously.

Empowering Borrowers by Understanding Options 

Despite facing setbacks, the Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to providing relief to student loan borrowers. The Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan is one new option approved to help with the burden of student loan debt.

You have alternatives, such as refinancing for better terms and income-driven repayment plans based on your earnings and family size.

To secure a brighter and more secure financial future, staying informed and proactive is key. As the government works towards solutions, there is hope that continued efforts and individual empowerment can eventually lead to significant relief from the weight of student loan debt.


Will forgiven student loan debt be considered taxable income?

In most cases, forgiven student loan debt is considered taxable income by the IRS. However, certain forgiveness programs, like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), provide an exception, making the forgiven amount tax-free.

Can you qualify for forgiveness if you have previously consolidated your federal student loans?

Yes, you can still qualify for forgiveness if you have previously consolidated your federal student loans. However, it’s essential to note that only qualifying payments made after consolidation will count toward forgiveness requirements.

Can your student loans be transferred to someone else if you’re approved for forgiveness?

No, student loans cannot be transferred to another person, even if you’re approved for forgiveness. The borrower is responsible for repaying the loans, and forgiveness only applies to the eligible borrower’s outstanding loan balance.

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