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Student Loan Forgiveness: Key Deadlines for Winter 2022

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Individuals who earn less than $125,000 and couples whose income is under $250,000 can apply for up to $10,000 in federal student loan forgiveness. It doubles to $20,000 for Pell grant recipients. 

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The online application — a simple, one-page form — is live and ready to complete. But before you get started, it’s essential to know about a few key dates that are coming up quickly.

Nov. 15

Borrowers should apply for student loan forgiveness no later than Nov. 15. Applications take roughly six weeks to process, so it’s crucial to apply by mid-month to get approved before the pause on federal student loan payments ends on Dec. 31. 

Applying as early as possible has become even more urgent because a recent court order has temporarily blocked the government from processing debt discharges. It is still accepting and reviewing applications, but ongoing legal challenges are sure to slow the process down.

Dec. 31

The pause on federal student loans expires on the last day of 2022. If you have outstanding debt beyond the amount forgiven, or if your application has not been approved by then, make sure you’re budgeting to resume making payments starting in January.

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Jan. 1, 2023

Regular payments resume on the first day of the new year after a three-year moratorium. On Jan. 1, interest will begin accruing on borrowers’ unpaid balances once again.

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Dec. 31, 2023

New Year’s Eve of next year is the final day to submit an application for federal student loan forgiveness. Starting the first day of 2024, you will have missed your window to erase up to $20,000 in debt.

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Before filling out your application, make sure that you have all relevant documents in hand. Borrowers should gather all student loan debt records available to support their request, and they can learn more about eligibility requirements here.

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Nicole Spector contributed to the reporting for this article.