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Older Americans: Cancel Student Loan Debt

  • September 21st, 2022

Happy young woman kisses dad on cheek as he pays bills for her education.More than 8 million Americans aged 50 and older have billions in outstanding federal student loan debt. Whether you have taken out these loans for yourself or for your family members’ education, several programs are currently seeking to assist you through debt cancellation or other relief measures.

Here are three avenues available at this time for student loan debt relief:

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program — The federal government is prepared to cancel all of your remaining federal student loan debt if you have served full time for 10 years or more in a public service role – including the U.S. military, public elementary and secondary schools, or public colleges and universities, among other organizations. Find out if you are eligible for the PSLF Program. Due to temporary changes to this program, you must apply by Oct. 31, 2022.
  • COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Federal Student Aid — When the pandemic hit, the government automatically paused student loan payments. This suspension on payments was initially set to end in August 2022; it has now been extended until Dec. 31, 2022. You do not need to take action; the extended pause is automatic. However, you can learn more, and find out which loans are eligible, on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Department of Education Student Loan Debt Cancellation — Did you take out a federal student loan for your own education or for your child’s education before July 1, 2022? Depending on your income and the types of loans you received, you may be able to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt. The U.S. Department of Education is working to set up an application process for this debt cancellation initiative; sign up online to be notified by email regarding its forthcoming Federal Student Loan Borrower updates.

For additional information, check out the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance blog and StudentAid.gov.

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Last Modified: 09/21/2022

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