Federal Student Loan Debt Relief

This one-time debt relief is provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) as part of the Biden-Harris Administration Student Debt Relief Plan. The U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients. The relief includes students and borrowers who have federally-held undergraduate, graduate, and Parent PLUS loans where the first disbursement was on or before June 30, 2022. Private loans are not eligible.

Apply for student loan debt relief by submitting the application as soon as possible but before December 31, 2023.

Who is Eligible

To be eligible for the debt relief, you should meet the following income requirements:

Tax Filing Status

2020 or 2021 Income (Based on AGI)

Did not file taxes

Made less than the required income to file federal taxes


Under $125,000

Married, filed your taxes separately

Under $125,000

Married, filed your taxes jointly

Under $250,000

Head of household

Under $250,000

Qualifying widow(er)

Under $250,000


If you were a dependent student during the 2021-2022 academic year, this income cap will be based on your parents' income. You need to meet the income criteria for either 2020 or 2021.

Which Loans are Eligible

The following types of federal student loans disbursed (when you received your loan funds) on or before June 30, 2022, are eligible for relief:

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans
    • Subsidized Loan
    • Unsubsidized Loan
    • Parent PLUS Loan
    • Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by ED or in default at a guaranty agency
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program loans held by ED
  • Defaulted loans (includes ED-held or commercially serviced Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, parent PLUS, graduate PLUS; and Perkins loans held by ED)
  • Consolidation loans as long as all of the underlying loans that were consolidated were ED-held loans and were disbursed on or before June 30, 2022
  • Consolidation loans comprised of any FFEL or Perkins loans not held by ED are also eligible, as long as the borrower applied for consolidation before Sept. 29, 2022.

Find your Federal Loans and Loan Servicers

You can determine the type of your federal loans and the names of your servicers by logging into StudentAid.gov.

  1. Select "My Aid" in the dropdown menu under your name at the top right of the screen
  2. The "My Aid" section will show you the servicer(s) for your loans.
  3. The "Loan Breakdown" will show you a list of the loans you received. You'll also see loans you paid off or consolidated into a new loan.
  4. If you expand "View Loans" and select the "View Loan Details" arrow under a loan, you'll see the more detailed name for that loan (along with other information about it).
    • Direct Loans begin with the word "Direct."
    • Federal Family Education Loan Program loans begin with "FFEL."
    • Perkins Loans include the word "Perkins" in the name.
    • If the name of the servicer starts with "Dept. of Ed" or "Default Management Collection System," your FFEL Program loan or Perkins Loan is federally managed (i.e., held by ED). Only federal loans are eligible for debt relief. Private loans aren't eligible and won't show on your dashboard.

Next Steps

  • After you submit your Student Loan Debt Relief application, you will receive an email confirmation
  • ED will review your application to confirm that you are eligible. They will contact you if they need additional information.
  • You will be notified once your application is approved
  • Loan servicers will apply your relief directly to your account. Each loan servicer you have will notify you separately. They will let you know if your loans are paid in full or have an outstanding balance. If you have an outstanding loan balance, they will also notify you what your new monthly payment will be once payments resume after Dec. 31, 2022
  • If you made payments during the payment pause (from March 13, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2022) that brought your balance below what you're eligible for ($10,000 or $20,000) but didn't pay off your loan in full, ED will refund those payments automatically. See Refunds for Past Payments
  • Log in to your account with your loan servicerto make sure your servicer has your most current contact information so they can reach you.


StudentAid.gov has the latest information on the application process. If you need help filling out the form online or have questions related to your specific borrower situation, you can reach out to contact center agents at 1-833-932-3439. Please read the FAQs.

Beware of Scams

  • Do not pay anyone who contacts you saying they will help you get loan discharge, forgiveness, cancellation, or debt relief for a fee. You neverhave to pay for help with your federal student aid
  • Make sure you only work with ED and their loan servicers. Loan servicer information is available at gov/manage-loans/repayment/servicers
  • Never reveal your personal information or account password to anyone
  • ED sends emails to borrowers from noreply@studentaid.gov, noreply@debtrelief.studentaid.gov, or gov@public.govdelivery.com
  • Report scam attempts to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357 or by visiting ftc.gov


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