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Sinclair College

Student Debt Relief

Student Loan Debt Relief Is Currently Blocked.
As a result of a court order, there is a temporary block on applying and processing debt discharges. However, the Department of Education (DOE) is seeking to overturn those orders. For borrowers that have already applied, their application will be held until the final court decision has been made. DOE will post information on studentaid.gov as soon as further updates become available.

What is Happening?
Federal Student Aid and the Biden-Harris Administration have announced federal loan forgiveness plans of up to $20,000 for prior Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for all other federal loan borrowers. To be eligible, the borrower’s annual income must be below $125,000 (individuals) and $250,000 (married couples/head of households).

Who is Eligible?
To be eligible, your annual income must be below $125,000 (for individuals) or $250,000 (for married couples or heads of households). 

How much am I Eligible to Receive?
The amount of loan cancellation you are eligible for will depend on the total amount of federal loan debt you have borrowed, as well as if you received a Federal Pell Grant during your time in college. To obtain your federal student loan balance information, as well as information regarding past Federal Pell Grant awards, please visit studentaid.gov.   Please note, if you received a Federal Pell Grant prior to 1994, that information won’t display in studentaid.gov, but you will still be eligible to receive the $20,000 benefit.

What Types of Loans are Eligible for Cancellation?
Below are the types of federal student loans that are eligible for cancellatiot (provided they have an outstanding balance as of June 30, 2022):

  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program Loans
    • Subsidized loans
    • Unsubsidized loans
    • Parent PLUS loans
    • Graduate PLUS loans
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by ED or in default at a guaranty agency
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program loans held by ED
  • Defaulted loans (includes ED-held or commercially serviced Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, Parent PLUS, and Graduate PLUS; and Perkins loans held by ED)
  • Consolidation loans, if all the loans that were consolidated were first disbursed on or before June 30, 2022

You can determine what types of federal loans you have by logging onto studentaid.gov and following the below steps:

  1. Select “My Aid” in the dropdown menu under your name
  2. Navigate to the “Loan Breakdown” section to see a list of each loan you received
  3. Expand the section by clicking “View Loans” and then select the “View Loan Details” arrow next to a loan. 
    1. Direct loans begin with “Direct”
    2. Federal Family Educational Loan Program loans begin with “FFEL”
    3. Perkins Loans contain the word “Perkins”
    4. If the servicer for any FFEL or Perkins Loans you have begins with “Dept. of Ed” or “Default Management Collection System” then the loan is federally managed/held by the Department of Education

What can borrowers do right now?
Nearly 8 million borrowers may be eligible to receive relief automatically because relevant income data is already available to the U.S. Department of Education. If you are unsure if your information is on file, you can complete the application at the link below.

Sinclair Community College
While Sinclair will not be involved in your application for loan forgiveness, we did provide links here to assist you in making the application for debt relief with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and information about the program.

Sinclair will NOT have information on your application or its status. You will receive communication on your application from ED to the email you use on your application.

What if I Made Voluntary Payments During the Pandemic?
Borrowers who made voluntary payments during the pandemic will be eligible to receive a refund of payments if:

  • You successfully apply for and receive debt relief under the Debt Relief Plan
    AND
  • Your voluntary payments during the payment pause brought your balance below the maximum debt relief amount you’re eligible to receive but did not pay off your loan in full.

Visit studentaid.gov/debt-relief-announcement/one-time-cancellation for additional information on if you may qualify for a refund on voluntary payments made during the pandemic.

Protect Yourself From Scammers
With the recently announced student debt cancellation, a new wave of scams has already begun trying to gain access to personal and financial information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) wants to remind borrowers to be on alert.

Here’s a list of Dos and Don’ts to protect yourself against scams as you prepare to apply for debt relief.

  • DON’T pay anyone who contacts you with promises of debt relief or loan forgiveness. You will not need to pay anyone to obtain debt relief. The application will be free and easy to use.
  • DON’T reveal your FSA ID or account information or password to anyone who contacts you. The Department of Education and your federal student loan servicer will never call or email you asking for this information.
  • DON’T ever give personal or financial information to an unfamiliar caller. When in doubt, hang up and call your student loan servicer directly. You can find your federal student loan servicer’s contact information at Studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/servicers.
  • DON’T refinance your federal student loans unless you know the risks. If you refinance federal student loans eligible for debt relief into a private loan, you will lose out on important benefits like one-time debt relief and flexible payment plans for federal loans.
  • DO create an FSA ID at StudentAid.gov. You will not need it for the debt relief application but having an FSA ID can allow you to easily access accurate information on your loan and make sure FSA can contact you directly, helping you equip yourself against scammers trying to contact you. Log in to your current account on StudentAid.gov and keep your contact info up to date. If you need help logging in follow these tips on accessing your account.
  • DO make sure your loan servicer has your most current contact information. If you don’t know who your servicer is, you can log into StudentAid.gov and see your servicer(s) in your account.
  • DO share these messages with your networks and encourage others to sign up at www.ed.gov/subscriptions to be notified when the Student Loan Debt Relief application becomes available.
  • DO report scammers to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.

Having the most up-to-date and accurate information is your best protection against scammers.

Additional Resources
Student Aid - Debit Relief Announcement 

  • Comprehensive information and Q&A regarding the one-time cancellation Debt Relief Plan. For more Information, visit the Student Aid website. 

Student Aid 

  • The studentaid.gov website provides past and current students with a full history of all Federal Grants and Federal Loan history (including amounts and servicer information).
  • Students and borrowers should log in to this site using their FSA ID information. For assistance retrieving your FSA ID, visit studentaid.gov/help/create-fsa-id.

White House 

  • Provides the official statement from President Biden and a fact sheet regarding the federal student loan forgiveness announcement. For more information website the WhiteHouse website. 

Student Aid - Debt Relief Announcement 

  • The Department of Education’s information on the student loan forgiveness plan. For more information visit the Student Aid website.

U.S. Department of Education Subscriptions 

  • Provide an email address to the Department of Education and subscribe for updates to the federal student loan forgiveness plan, including when the process has officially opened. For more information on the Subscriptions from the Department of Education please visit the U.S. Department of Education website. 

White House Public Service Loan Forgiveness

 

For additional information, visit the FAQ page on student debt relief.