There are several programs to cancel some or all of your federal loans or have them forgiven, depending on your situation. In some cases, you can have your loans forgiven regardless of whether your loans are current or in default. Laws created these programs and specify requirements you must meet to get this relief. If the Department of Education cancels your loans, it not only makes the debt go away, but in some cases, the government must give back any payments you have made on the debt that was canceled (whether you submitted payments or the government took your tax refund or some of your wages to pay the debt) and help clean up your credit. This is the most complete relief you can get.
Private Student Loan Cancellation & Forgiveness
This page includes information on cancellation and forgiveness options for federal student loans. See our separate page on cancellation, forgiveness, and bankruptcy of private student loans.
President Biden’s Student Loan Cancellation Plan
President Biden announced plans to cancel up to $20,000 in student loans for eligible borrowers in 2022. That plan was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2023. Read more about President Biden’s new plan to provide debt relief and what happened at the Supreme Court. You may also still be eligible for the other cancellation and loan forgiveness programs that are listed below.
Did you hear the latest news on student loan relief?
You may be one of the millions of borrowers who will be closer to student loan cancellation thanks to the Department of Education’s payment count adjustment. Read more about the payment count adjustment and how you can benefit.
Federal Student Loan Cancellation & Forgiveness Programs
Borrower Defense to Repayment
- Did your school mislead you, lie to you, fail to tell you important information or engage in other misconduct when trying to get you to enroll or stay enrolled in the school?
Total & Permanent Disability (TPD)
- Are you not able to work due to an ongoing disability, physical, or mental condition?
- Did you lack a high school diploma or GED when you enrolled?
- Do you have some type of disqualifying status (such as a criminal record or medical condition) that prevents you from getting a job in the field you were studying at school?
- Did someone else forge your name on loan documents or use your identity to take out student loans?
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
- Have you or do you plan to work in a public service job, such as a teaching, nonprofit, military, or government for ten years after receiving your federal loans?
- Were you unable to complete your program because your school closed while you were enrolled, or you withdrew shortly before the school closed?
- Did you withdraw from school but still owe student loans for that semester?
Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)
- Are you enrolled in an Income-Driven Repayment plan?
- Have you been making payments on your federal loans for 20-25 years?
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
- Are you a teacher in a low-income school or education service?