Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness: Seize the Final 3 Opportunities

US President Joe Biden speaks about student loan cancellation and support for students and borrowers, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 4, 2023. Biden is announcing an additional $9 billion in student debt relief for 125,000 more Americans, bringing the total debt relief to $127 billion for nearly 3.6 million Americans, according to a statement from the White House.

The Biden administration is still granting student loan forgiveness through a temporary program that eases important regulations surrounding income-driven repayment plans. Up until now, close to a million borrowers have been granted debt relief through this initiative.

However, the program is set to conclude in a few months, following the administration’s last-minute extension last fall. And borrowers are running out of opportunities for loan forgiveness before stricter rules are reinstated.

Fixing Issues in Student Loan Repayment Plans

US President Joe Biden greets a family for a conversation about student loan debt forgiveness at their home in Raleigh, North Carolina, January 18, 2024, after he touted his economic agenda in a speech at Abbotts Creek Community Center.


The IDR Account Adjustment was implemented by the Biden administration as a solution to address long-standing issues with income-driven repayment plans. These plans offer borrowers the opportunity to make payments on their federal student loans according to their income and family size.

After 20 or 25 years of repayment, any remaining balance may be eligible for loan forgiveness. However, in previous instances, numerous borrowers were unfairly directed towards expensive forbearances (which do not contribute towards loan forgiveness), and inadequate record-keeping hindered others from receiving credit for their repayment efforts.

As part of the account adjustment, previous repayment periods under any plan (including non-IDR plans), along with certain deferment and forbearance periods, can be considered for loan forgiveness under IDR as if the borrower had been enrolled in an IDR plan.

This can speed up progress towards IDR forgiveness. Individuals who meet the necessary requirements to reach either the 20-year or 25-year milestone will have their remaining balance discharged.

The Education Department has been implementing the adjustment every two months since last July. Up until now, over 900,000 borrowers have been granted loan forgiveness, with $5 billion in approvals announced in the most recent batch last month.

However, the temporary program is set to conclude in a few more months. According to recently published guidance, the US Department of Education anticipates that the payment count adjustment will be finalized by July 1, 2024. The department plans to conduct the adjustment again in March and May, with the final implementation scheduled for July.

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