Thousands of Mississippians are expected to have almost $451 million in federal student loans forgiven in the coming weeks.
Last week, President Joe Biden’s administration released that 804,000 borrowers across the nation will receive income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness.
In total, over $39 billion is expected to be automatically discharged throughout the remainder of the summer months. In Mississippi alone, nearly 9,500 borrowers have been selected to receive IDR forgiveness within the next few weeks
Biden held a press conference on Friday to announce the newly allocated funding, explaining that the move is aimed at helping borrowers that have been paying off their student debt for years.
“Over 800,000 student loan borrowers who have been repaying their loans for 20 years or more will see $39 billion of their loans discharged because of steps my Administration took to fix failures of the past,” Biden stated. “These borrowers will join the millions of people that my Administration has provided relief to over the past two years – resulting in over $116 billion in loan relief to over 3 million borrowers under my Administration.”
Eligible borrowers were notified by the U.S. Department of Education starting last Friday that they qualify for forgiveness without further action on their part. Discharges will begin 30 days after those emails were sent.
Borrowers who wish to opt out of the discharge are encouraged to contact their loan servicer during the next 30 days. Those who opt into the discharge will be notified by their servicer after the IDR forgiveness is released.
Anyone receiving forgiveness will have repayment on those loans paused until their discharge is processed, while those who opt out of the discharge will return to repayment once payments resume.
“By fixing past administrative failures, we are ensuring everyone gets the forgiveness they deserve, just as we have done for public servants, students who were cheated by their colleges, and borrowers with permanent disabilities, including veterans,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said. “This Administration will not stop fighting to level the playing field in higher education.”
The Department of Education will continue to identify and notify borrowers who reach the applicable forgiveness thresholds (240 or 300 qualifying monthly payments, depending on their repayment plan and type of loan) every two months until next year when all borrowers who are not yet eligible for forgiveness will have their payment counts updated.
Any month counted for this purpose can also be counted toward PSLF if the borrower documents qualifying employment for that same period.