PRESIDENTIAL STUDENT DEBT RELIEF PLAN AND CARES ACT EXTENSION
Last Updated: 9/29/2022
On August 24, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced their plan for student loan debt relief and the extension of the CARES Act for borrowers with loans held by the Department of Education (ED). ED is assessing whether commercially held Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) (a.k.a. privately held) loans will have relief extended to them. We will continue to update our website as ED releases additional details. For more information visit One-Time Student Loan Debt Relief and Subscriptions | U.S. Department of Education to sign up for Federal Student Loan Borrower Updates.
IMPORTANT: As of September 29, 2022, borrowers with commercially held FFELP (a.k.a privately held) loans, like those serviced by AES, cannot obtain one-time debt relief by consolidating those loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Will my FFELP loans serviced by AES be eligible for the debt relief announced by the President on August 24, 2022?
We understand that you may be receiving conflicting information regarding forgiveness of commercially held FFELP loans. ED is assessing whether there are alternative ways to provide relief to borrowers with FFELP loans serviced by AES. As soon as we learn more about eligibility, we will update this page. You may also visit One-Time Student Loan Debt Relief or sign up for email updates at Subscriptions | U.S. Department of Education.
Since I may receive forgiveness on my FFELP loans serviced by AES, do I have to continue making payments?
Yes. It has not yet been determined if FFELP loans serviced by AES are eligible based on this forgiveness announcement. If you are having trouble making payments, visit aesSuccess.org/troublepaying for information on options. If you do not make payments or take action to postpone payments, this will result in delinquency and related consequences, including negative credit reporting, late fees, and additional interest accrual.
Why are my FFELP loans serviced by AES not eligible for the CARES Act payment suspension interest rate benefits?
The CARES Act, a federal law that was signed into law on March 27, 2020, suspends payment obligation and sets the interest rate to zero, but only applies to federal student loans held by ED. Because your FFELP loans are not held by ED, the CARES Act benefits, including the extension of such benefits, do not apply. For more information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) options, visit StudentAid.gov.
Can I request a refund on payments I’ve already made on my account?
Since the CARES Act payment suspension has been in effect since March 2020, borrowers with loans held by ED can request a refund for any payments they may have made during this time because these payments were not required. However, the CARES Act payment suspension does not apply to your FFELP loans serviced by AES and ED’s refund policy also does not apply.
AES is not currently processing refund requests for required payments that were made on FFELP loans, unless you are currently in a paid ahead status, to prevent potential negative consequences that may result from such refunds, including delinquency, negative credit reporting, use of forbearance, and additional interest accrual and capitalization.
My loans are paid in full; can I request a refund?
Unfortunately, we cannot issue refunds on your zero-balance loans.
Are any of the previously announced limited waiver programs changing?
No. The limited waiver programs announced by ED have not changed.
If you work, or have worked, in public service and believe you will benefit specifically from the Limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Waiver, you must take action to consolidate your commercially held FFELP loans into the Direct Loan Program by October 31, 2022. For additional information, visit StudentAid.gov/pslf.
If you wish to benefit from the recent changes related to Income-Driven Repayment (IDR), you will need to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation loan before ED completes the implementation of the changes.
If you have already taken action to consolidate into the Direct Loan Program, this may impact your eligibility under the debt relief announcement. If you apply to consolidate on or after September 29, 2022, your new Direct Consolidation Loan will not be eligible for the one-time debt relief; however, you will still get relief under the PSLF and IDR forgiveness programs or CARES Act benefits.
Are private education loans eligible for this loan forgiveness?
No. Private education loans are not eligible for debt relief. If you refinanced federal loans into a private education loan, the refinanced private education loan is not eligible for debt relief.
Will I be eligible for PSLF or IDR loan forgiveness or CARES Act benefits if I consolidate my FFELP loans serviced by AES into a Direct Consolidation Loan?
If you work or have worked in public service, you should consider whether you may also benefit from the Limited PSLF Waiver. If so, you must take action to complete a Direct Loan Consolidation application no later than October 31, 2022. Visit aesSuccess.org/LimitedPSLFWaiver or StudentAid.gov/pslf for information about the Limited PSLF Waiver.
NOTE: If you apply to consolidate on or after September 29, 2022, your new Direct Consolidation Loan will not be eligible for the one-time debt relief; however, you will still get relief under the PSLF and IDR forgiveness programs or CARES Act benefits.
How do I know if I have a Pell Grant?
To determine if you have a Pell Grant, you should log in to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website at StudentAid.gov with your FSA ID and password, and the information will be available to you in your FSA account. If you received a Pell Grant before 1994, that information will not display on your FSA account, but you will still receive the benefit if you are eligible.
Beware of Scams
You might be contacted by a company saying they will help you receive loan discharge, forgiveness, cancellation, or debt relief for a fee. You never have to pay for help with your private or federal student loans, we provide that assistance for free. Make sure you work only with AES and our trusted partners, and never reveal your account password to anyone.