(WSYR-TV)– Student loan forgiveness can come as soon as Christmas for roughly 43 million Americans under the Biden administration’s new student debt relief plan. Millions of Americans will receive up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness and up to $20,000 if they have a Pell grant. But who’s eligible and how can you apply? 


  • Only federal student loan borrowers are eligible for forgiveness, the relief plan does not include private bank loans.
  • In order to receive forgiveness individuals must make under $125,000 a year or under $250,000 a year for a household with dual income.
  • Students who received a federal, need-based Pell grant will be eligible for up to $20,000 of forgiveness, everyone else will be eligible for up to $10,000. 
  • Federal parent plus loans and loans for graduate students also qualify.

The new plan also extends the pause on student loan payments until January 1, 2023. This will be the federal government’s final extension of the over two-year pandemic pause. 


  • Roughly 8 million borrowers already have their income information saved with the Department of Education. Those people will receive their forgiveness automatically. 
  • For the rest of the population, an application will be made available in early October 2022 at www.studentaid.gov
  • The application will take 4-6 weeks to process, so if you want your student debt forgiven before payments resume you need to apply no later than November 15, 2022. 
  • You can sign up for application notifications from the Department of Education here

While you wait for the application to be live, you can review your overall debt balances and borrower information at www.studentaid.gov. Learn more information about the relief plan here