Parents Need to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness This Month, Too – CNET

Your guide to a better future
Learn which parents and which loans qualify for student debt forgiveness.
Peter Butler
How To writer and editor
Peter is a writer and editor for the CNET How-To team. He has been covering technology, software, finance, sports and video games since working for @Home Network and Excite in the 1990s. Peter managed reviews and listings for Download.com during the 2000s, and is passionate about software and no-nonsense advice for creators, consumers and investors.
President Joe Biden’s Aug. 24 announcement of $10,000 to $20,000 in student loan debt cancellation was great news for many student borrowers, and it was also a happy event for many parents of college students.
The currently proposed plan to forgive student loan debt for borrowers earning $125,000 a year or less includes parents who’ve taken out Parent PLUS loans to help pay for their children’s college education or graduate school. Eligible parents can apply for student loan debt forgiveness just like their kids.
Parent PLUS loans include about 3.7 million families who owe a total of $104 billion, according to The Century Foundation — the median family debt is $29,600. Learn which parents and which loans are eligible for student loan forgiveness and how parents can apply to cancel up to $20,000 of their debt.
For more, learn how the application process for student loan forgiveness will work and how debt cancellation could impact your credit score.
Parent PLUS loans are federally funded student loans that parents can take out to help pay for their kids’ higher education. Note that the PLUS acronym comes from the now-outdated name for the loans: — “Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students.” The Department of Education now calls parent loans “Direct PLUS loans.” 
Parent PLUS loans are unsubsidized, meaning parents have to pay interest while their children are in school. The fixed interest rate on Parent PLUS loans — currently 7.54% per Bankrate — is also higher than student rates, currently 4.99%
Parents who hold Direct PLUS loans with the federal government and who earned less than $125,000 or $250,000 for a household in either 2020 or 2021 should qualify for at least $10,000 in debt forgiveness once the White House plan is enacted.
Even if you have defaulted on a Parent PLUS loan, you are still eligible for debt forgiveness. 
Students who received Pell Grants during their higher education are eligible for up to $20,000 in student loan debt forgiveness. That rule also applies to parents, but only if the parents themselves received Pell Grants.
If a parent who did not receive a Pell Grant as a student holds a PLUS loan for a child who did receive a Pell Grant, the parent does not qualify for the $20,000 forgiveness, only the $10,000. Similarly, if a parent who did receive a Pell Grant as a student takes out a loan for a child who has not received a Pell Grant, that parent is eligible for $20,000.
Parents will need to apply for student loan forgiveness separately from their children. To do so, they’ll access their FSA account to confirm all of their personal information and loan data. When the application for student loan debt forgiveness launches, parents will need to file a claim using their own account credentials. 
As the plan currently stands, each student loan borrower is eligible for $10,000 to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness — it doesn’t matter if the debt was incurred as a student or parent. Parents can claim forgiveness for both their own student loans and their Parent PLUS loans, but the total debt forgiven will be limited to $10,000 or $20,000.
For more, see how getting a refund of student loan payments could complicate your debt forgiveness.

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