On Thursday, the Biden administration quickly reversed direction and announced that students with only government-held debts would be eligible for a massive new federal student loan forgiveness program. This would disqualify hundreds of thousands of borrowers who had previously been advised they might qualify for an older type of federal student loan.
President Joe Biden’s one-time student debt cancellation effort, initially proposed in August, would reward students with up to $20,000 in federal student education loan forgiveness. According to the Education Department, up to 40 million borrowers might be eligible for debt relief, with up to half of those borrowers being fully debt-free.
Borrowers with privately owned federal student loans, such as those obtained via the FFEL, Perkins, and HEAL programs, can obtain this assistance by merging their loans into the Direct Loan program, according to the Education Department’s published advice.