Biden Administration is Forgiving $1.2 billion in student debt for 153,000 borrowers. Find out if you qualify

Student loan repayment

Source CBS News

The Biden administration on Wednesday said it is automatically forgiving $1.2 billion in student debt for 153,000 borrowers. Loan holders whose debt will be discharged will receive an email from President Joe Biden today informing them of the forgiveness, the Department of Education said. 

The debt relief is the latest push from the White House to address the nation’s $1.77 trillion in student debt after the Supreme Court last year invalidated the Biden administration’s plan for broad-based student loan forgiveness. That plan would have helped more than 40 million borrowers each wipe away up to $20,000 in debt.

With this latest round, the Biden administration said it has approved loan relief for nearly 3.9 million borrowers, many of whom have been repaying their debt for decades. The 153,000 borrowers who qualify for the latest debt forgiveness are those who are enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan and who have made at least 10 years of payments.

“[I]f you’ve been paying for a decade, you’ve done your part, and you deserve relief,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in the statement.

Who qualifies for this new debt forgiveness? 

The Biden administration said 153,000 borrowers who are enrolled in the SAVE plan are eligible. 

Continue watching2/20: CBS Evening Newsafter the aThose who are eligible have been enrolled in repayment plans for at least 10 years and originally borrowed $12,000 or less for college, the Education Department said. 

For every $1,000 borrowed above $12,000, a borrower can receive forgiveness after an additional year of payments, the department added. 

What steps do borrowers have to take?

None, according to the Education Department. 

People receiving a loan discharge will get an email from Biden today about their loan forgiveness, and don’t need to take further action. Servicers will process the forgiveness in the next few days, and borrowers will see their loans forgiven in their accounts, according to the statement.

What is the SAVE plan?

The SAVE plan is income-driven repayment program, or IDR, that was created by the Biden administration. IDRs peg a borrower’s monthly payment to their income, lowering their financial burden.

The SAVE plan was designed to fix some problems with older IDR programs, such as allowing interest to snowball on a borrower’s debt. 

All borrowers enrolled in SAVE can receive forgiveness after 20 years or 25 years of repayments, but the White House has developed the shorter 10-year forgiveness period for people with smaller balances.

Borrowers can apply for the SAVE plan here.

How many people are enrolled in SAVE?

There are currently 7.5 million borrowers enrolled in SAVE, the Education Department said on Wednesday. About 4.3 million of those have a $0 monthly payment. 

Actionable tips to help you get a STEM scholarship

  1. Start early: Gathering all the essential letters and documents necessary for a scholarship application can be time-consuming. Therefore, it’s advisable to start well in advance of the deadline, preferably with a couple of months to spare. Most scholarships require SAT scores for undergraduate students and GRE/GMAT scores for graduate students. Standardized testing agencies will take at least a few weeks to mail you your scores. 

Similarly, you’ll need to be flexible with the people, such as professors and mentors, you approach to write you a letter of recommendation. Ideally, budget a couple of weeks at least for this process. By starting early with these tasks, you can ensure you’re ready to post your application comfortably before the last date. 

  1. Identify STEM scholarships that fit your requirements: Scholarships to help students into STEM disciplines are multiplying, and an online search will throw up hundreds of results. However, not every scholarship is for you, both in terms of eligibility and interest. Some are open to all STEM students, others are for students already in college, and some are exclusively targeted at underrepresented groups like women and minorities. One thing that can help with the filtering process is being clear about the field or industry you want to go into. You can make a long list of prospective scholarships that meet your requirement before shortlisting your priority targets. Make sure to apply to as many scholarships as necessary, including a few outside your industry focus, to improve your chances of success. IOScholarships simplifies the process for you. It matches you with thousands of scholarships based on your talents and skills. This improves your chances of winning the scholarship.
  1. Be organized: Managing multiple applications at the same time can be cumbersome as they are likely to have different requirements, deadlines, and formats. This is where the IOScholarships organizer comes in. Our free organizer tool will allow you to stay focused on the application process. We offer a single view and an easy interface that allows you to manage your selected scholarships and stay on top of deadlines.
  1. Ace the essay: Many STEM scholarships do not require an essay, as is customary for most general scholarships. However, some do. Consider this an opportunity to showcase the best of your writing skills, your reasoning and logical skills, your thought process, and finally, the level of interest in your chosen field of study. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
  • While universities and scholarship programs prize intelligence and academic achievement, they also prefer candidates who are aligned with their worldview. Therefore, make sure to write a personalized essay for each university that matches its mission and values. 
  • Stick to the assigned topic. For instance, you may be asked to write an essay about what influenced your interest in a particular major subject, or what you’ve done so far to learn more about it. Make your essay precisely about those questions. 
  • Expand on your resume. Without deviating from the topic, use your essay to help the reader discover more about you in terms of subject matter knowledge, awareness of new developments in the field, and opportunities for practical application. 
  • Edit and proofread your essay before submission. Preferably use a writing assistant or editing software to make sure your piece is in perfect order. Language proficiency might not seem important to a chemistry or math student, but it certainly is when it comes to writing your scholarship essay.  

For more information on writing a unique essay, read the following article 

  1. Recheck your applications: Before submitting your application, ensure you’ve followed all instructions to the last detail. Every scholarship has different documentation and formatting requirements and it can be hard to make your application stand out. It’s ideal, therefore, to customize each application separately and not recycle documents like cover letters and lists of achievements. Although it may take longer, it’s ideal to treat each scholarship as a separate process and customize applications accordingly. 
  1. Don’t be discouraged: If you didn’t get a scholarship, try and work out what you could have done differently with your application and use that knowledge to improve your chances with future opportunities. Some scholarships even offer feedback on your application to help you better your chances next year. Keep your spirits up and remember that there are always going to be new scholarship opportunities you can aim for. 

Get help applying for STEM scholarships

Navigating the sheer number of STEM scholarships out there can be challenging for students. Scholarships that look appealing because of their funding amount may not be right for your choice of major subject or university. Others get overlooked because they are new and not many people have heard about them. 

At IOScholarships, we take the hassle out of the process of identifying and applying for the right scholarships. We are a community dedicated to securing debt-free education for students from diverse backgrounds. 

Join us today to get access to thousands of curated scholarships and financial education resources. And trust us to find the STEM scholarships that are perfect for

Biden administration is forgiving $1.2 billion in student debt for 153,000 borrowers. Here’s who qualifies.