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List of eligible loans for one-time forgiveness shortened

If your FFEL program loan became commercial, it is not included in President Joe Biden's one-time federal student loan forgiveness.

INDIANAPOLIS — People who meet certain income requirements are eligible for up to $20,000 in one-time federal student loan forgiveness.

But the list of qualifying loans is a little shorter after a recent announcement.


If a person wanted to take out a federal student loan more than a decade ago, an option was the FFEL program, which stands for Federal Family Education Loan.

But that loan type went away in the 2009-10 academic year to make room for Direct Loans.

When that happened, existing FFEL program loans either stayed federal or became commercial. If it became commercial, it is not included in President Joe Biden's one-time federal student loan forgiveness.

If you've benefitting from the COVID interest-free payment pause the whole time, your FFEL is more than likely federal.

If you needed to make payments at some point, it's likely commercial. 

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Cecilia Clark with Nerdwallet said you can also call your servicer.

"We're still hopeful that maybe there'll be a solution for these borrowers. Because again, this is not something that they signed up for. They didn't sign up for private loans. They signed up for federal loans," Clark said. 

However, if you applied to consolidate your FFEL into a Direct Loan before Sept. 29, 2022, it should be included in forgiveness.

"When you consolidate your federal loans, basically what you're doing is you're taking a bunch of loans, and with a bunch of different payments, and potentially a bunch of different services, and you're just lumping them into one loan that'll have one payment and one servicer," Clark said. 

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Clark added that loan consolidation can come with downsides.

"If you have payments already counting towards specific forgiveness plans, consolidation could mess that up. So before you consolidate, it's really important to look at your own individual situation, and make sure that restructuring those loans under federal consolidation won't throw off anything that you previously had set in motion," she said.

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