As we await the ruling by the Supreme Court on the legality of the Biden Forgiveness plan, which could help nurses wipe out up to $20,000 of federal student loans, let’s not forget that other important developments by the Biden Administration on federal student loans could be more impactful to nurses. In fact, some nurses might have to take action before May 1, 2023, in order to be eligible for a one-time adjustment.
The May 1, 2023 deadline is especially pertinent for federal student loan borrowers that want to make sure all of their student loan types are eligible for popular forgiveness programs, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and other forgiveness opportunities available for private sector nurses enrolled in the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) programs.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Driven Repayment Credit
PSLF and IDR forgiveness is an important way to obtain forgiveness on federal student loans. Many nurses might not be aware of the limited opportunity that provides a one-time payment count adjustment to provide PSLF and IDR credit for past payments. The Department of Education proposed the limited opportunity in April 2022. However, in order to get previous ineligible payments to count for the “one-time adjustment”, some federal loan holders may need to consolidate their loans.
Consolidate Federal Loans
More specifically, the one-time adjustment allows for loan holders of Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans, Perkins loans, and Health Education Assistance Program (HEAP) loans, a one-time opportunity to consolidate these loans types into “Direct” program loans so that they can get credit for the one-time IDR adjustment that will qualify these loans for PSLF and IDR forgiveness.
FFELP loans total 9.2 million borrowers and approximately $207 billion as of January 2023. Holders of FFELP loan types usually graduated prior to 2011. Additionally, holders of Perkins loans usually graduated prior to 2017 and HEAP loans prior to 2000.
Get Loan Gaps Caught Up
Additionally, the one-time adjustment could also help nurses who may have had a gap in their undergraduate nursing degree and graduate nursing degree to get all of their loan types caught up to the same number of qualifying payments for PSLF and IDR. Many nurses that took out federal loans in undergrad and grad school could take this opportunity to get more qualifying payments, thus reducing their total amount of renaming months between now and their forgiveness date.
Get Credit For Qualifying Payments
It is important to note that nurses could also get credit for qualifying payments for other situations, such as the following:
- any months in a repayment status, regardless of the payments made, loan type, or repayment plan;
- 12 or more months of consecutive forbearance or 36 or more months of cumulative forbearance;
- months spent in economic hardship or military deferments after 2013;
- months spent in any deferment (with the exception of in-school deferment) prior to 2013; and
- any time in repayment on earlier loans prior to consolidation of those loans into a consolidation loan.
Get Help Now, See If You Qualify
In order to figure out if any of these situations apply to your loans, Nurse.org has partnered with our friends at GradFin to provide 30-minute student loan consultations. These consultations could help you determine if you need to take action prior to May 1st to qualify your loans for the limited one-time adjustment.
Don’t sit tight waiting for the Supreme Court decision or waiting until payments start up again. Now is the time to take action prior to the May 1 deadline. Sign up for your 30-minute consultation here.