Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Account Adjustment
Under Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans, any remaining loan balance is forgiven if a borrower’s federal student loans aren't fully repaid at the end of the repayment period (either 20 or 25 years, depending on the type of plan).
Starting In fall 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will make several updates that will bring some borrowers closer to IDR forgiveness. These adjustments to borrower accounts include conducting a one-time revision of IDR payment counters to address past inaccuracies (including automatically discharging loans for eligible borrowers) and permanently fixing IDR payment counting by reforming ED’s IDR tracking procedures going forward. If you have applied or will apply for PSLF, these changes may have an impact on you by increasing your qualifying payment count. As part of this initiative, ED will conduct a one-time revision that will count IDR-qualifying payments for eligible borrowers, including:
- Any months in which you had time 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 toward IDR and PSLF forgiveness;
- Months spent in deferment (with the exception of in-school deferment) prior to 2013; and
- Any time in repayment prior to consolidation on consolidated loans.
Read on to find out whether you could benefit from this one-time IDR account adjustment.
Who is eligible?
This one-time IDR payment count revision applies to borrowers with Direct Loan Program and federally managed Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans (that is, your Nelnet account starts with E). Any borrower with loans that have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years will see automatic forgiveness, even if you are not currently on an IDR plan.
If you have commercially held FFEL loans (that is, your Nelnet account starts with D or J), you can also benefit from the IDR account adjustment, but only if you take action soon. See more details under “How do I take advantage of the adjustment?”
What are the benefits?Any borrower with loans that have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years will see automatic forgiveness, even if they’re not currently on an IDR plan. Other borrowers who haven’t been in repayment that long will receive more months of repayment credit that put them closer to forgiveness under IDR and PSLF, if eligible. Beyond the changes that will provide relief retroactively to borrowers, FSA will take action to ensure that borrowers continue to receive these benefits in the future.
How do I take advantage of the adjustment?
For Direct Loan Program and federally managed FFEL Program borrowers, these changes will be applied automatically starting in fall 2022.
For commercial FFEL borrowers, you must consolidate into the Direct Loan Program before FSA completes implementation of these changes, which is estimated to be no sooner than Jan. 1, 2023.
If you have applied or will apply for PSLF, you should update your employment certification history to reflect all periods of public service employment.