Breaking News
More () »

Local financial aid experts help explain who is still eligible for student-loan forgiveness

The Department of Education estimates 800,000 borrowers will be excluded from debt relief.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Nearly a month after the Biden Administration announced plans to cut student loan debt, a change in the fine print may mean thousands of borrowers are no longer eligible.

Borrowers whose federal student loans are guaranteed by the government -- but held by private lenders -- will now be excluded from receiving debt relief.

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi and Kingsville experts are breaking down this latest development regarding loan forgiveness. 

One testament they all share is to not panic: saying there are plenty of resources for you to use to see if you're affected by this change.

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi Assistant Director of Financial Aid Maria Serna said that though hundreds of thousands will be affected by the change, millions will still be eligible for relief.

"It is a large portion of borrowers, about 800,000," Serna said. "But you know, in the grand scheme of things, a majority of borrowers will not be impacted by this updated guidance."

Serna explained students who went to school prior to 2010 may potentially still hold FFELP (Family Federal Education Loan Program) loans.

"If those FFELP loans are not held by a current Department of Education, servicer, those are the loans that are not eligible for that loan forgiveness," Serna said.

Some students may have taken out those FFELP loans and consolidated them through the direct-loan program, which is the current loan program for loans that originated after 2010.

"Students that hold those FFELP loans that are consolidated under the direct loan program are still eligible," Serna said.

Those borrowers are still in the clear to receive forgiveness.

"But if your FFELP loans are with a private lender, then they're the one's who are going to be impacted," Serna said.

To find out if these changes affect you, Serna advises going to studentaid.gov.

"The first thing you want to do is contact your loan servicer," Serna said. "And in order to do that, you can log on to studentaid.gov."

Texas A&M University - Kingsville Director of Financial Aid Raul Cavazos also advises using that website as a resource.

"That portal right there will will let them see whether they qualify, or they don't qualify for the relief," Cavazos said.

Texas A&M University - Kingsville Assistant Director of Financial Aid Saundra Johnson said there are many resources available to help you if you have any questions.

"If they're unsure that they may be eligible for the 10,000 up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness, there is going to be an application that will be be available on studentaid.gov beginning next month in October 2022," Johnson said.

But you may have to practice patience, because just like you, many others are trying to find the most up-to-date information on the site.

"Opt in to updates and you know, get text message updates and so forth. That way once that application rolls out, they can be notified and you know be the first to apply," Cavazos said.

You can also keep an eye out for financial aid workshops at the universities.

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi is holding a workshop,  from 2-7 p.m. Oct. 26 to answer any student loan and financial aid questions and concerns. This event is open to the public.

Before You Leave, Check This Out