Biden-Harris Administration's Student Debt Relief Plan

On Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Department of Education announced a federal student debt cancellation plan. According to the announcement, “the U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients.”

Key takeaways and next steps

  • There will be a final extension of the student loan repayment pause. Federal loan repayment is deferred until Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Borrowers who were dependent, enrolled students in the 2021-22 academic year will be eligible for relief based on parental income, rather than their own income.
  • The best place to get your total federal debt and to check if you received a Pell Grant is the Federal Student Aid website. You will need your federal student aid ID (FSA ID) to login and access your information. If you did not create one or yours has expired, you will need to create a new FSA ID.
  • This debt cancellation plan applies to federal student loans, including Federal Direct (Stafford) Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and Parent PLUS loans that had an initial disbursement as of June 30, 2022. The Perkins Loan and private loans are not included under this plan.
  • According to a U.S. Department of Education spokesperson, borrowers (students and/or parent(s) can still request refunds for any federal student loan payments made since March 13, 2020, when the first repayment pause was announced. Additionally, any amount paid after Aug. 24, 2022.

The Biden Administration's Student Loan Debt Plan
Qualifying loans: all federal loans: undergraduate, graduate, Parent PLUS


IncomeTotal forgiveness with Pell GrantTotal forgiveness without Pell Grant 




Student loan pause extended one final time through Dec. 31, 2022
Disbursement before June 30, 2022 (loan default before March 31, 2020)
Application process will start in September 2022
New Income-driven Repayment - (IDR) Plan 
Federal undergraduate loans
Discretionary IncomeMonthly PaymentLoan AmountsInterestRepayment
225% of federal poverty level (equivalent to $15/hr.)$0$12,000 or lessunpaid amount is covered by U.S. Department of Education10 years
5% of discretionary incomebased on income$12,000 or moreaccrued interest unpaid/taxable income during forgiveness10 years
Potential new income-driven repayment - (IDR) Plan - effective date July 1, 2023 
Final rule making on Nov. 1, 2022     
Fresh Start Initiative (FSI) 
Propose is for borrowers in default to receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid     
 removal of federal default loando not impact the one rule for default letter of acknowledgement updating National Student Loan Data System - TBA borrowers in good standing qualify for student loan debt program

This infographic applies to independent, currently enrolled students and individuals not currently enrolled who filed federal taxes as single or head of household. For dependent, currently enrolled students, eligibility for relief will be based on parental income. More information is available at