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Student Loan Forgiveness Will Come Early for Some Borrowers on the SAVE Plan

Student Loan Forgiveness Will Come Early for Some Borrowers on the SAVE Plan

On Thursday (January, 11 2024) the Biden Administration announced that some borrowers might have their loans forgiven as early as February 2024.

Starting next month (February 2024), student loan borrowers who have been in repayment for as little as 10 years, who are currently enrolled in the SAVE plan, and have borrowed $12,000 or less, will be eligible to have their loans automatically forgiven.

Additionally, borrowers who took out less than $21,000 will also be eligible for “accelerated forgiveness” if they meet certain criteria.

The Department is accelerating this benefit months ahead of the date previously laid out in the Administration’s final regulations for implementing the SAVE plan, which was originally scheduled to happen July 1, 2024.

Do I Need to Meet All 3 Criteria to Qualify?

Yes, to qualify for “accelerated forgiveness,” you need to meet all 3 criteria: enrollment in the SAVE plan, borrowing under a certain amount, and meeting the corresponding time-in-repayment criteria based on the amount you originally borrowed.

Simply enrolling in SAVE does not qualify you for accelerated forgiveness.

I’m Not Sure If I Qualify, Will I Be Notified If I Do?

In February (2024) borrowers who are enrolled in SAVE and meet the other forgiveness criteria should be notified via email about their loan discharge.

Borrowers who are not enrolled in SAVE but meet the other early forgiveness criteria will also be notified via email that they can receive forgiveness upon enrolling in the plan.

The Department stated that it planned to start contacting borrowers as early as today (January 11th, 2024) to notify them of their potential eligibility.

I Qualify, When Will My Loans Be Forgiven?

According to the Department of Education, qualified borrowers will have their loans forgiven as early as February 2024.

Borrowers who meet all eligibility criteria should have their loans forgiven automatically and should not need to take additional steps to receive forgiveness.

I Borrowed More Than $12,000, Can I Qualify for Accelerated Forgiveness?

Borrowers who originally borrowed up to $21,000 will also be eligible to have their debt forgiven early under the SAVE plan.

For every $1,000 borrowed above $12,000, a borrower can receive forgiveness after an additional year of payments. This means that a borrower who originally borrowed less than $21,000 will be eligible for forgiveness faster than the 20-year timeline for undergraduate borrowers on SAVE.

For example, a borrower on the SAVE plan who originally took out $14,000 could have their balance forgiven after just 12 years of payments.

My Current Balance is Under $21,000. Can I Qualify for Accelerated Forgiveness?

“Accelerated forgiveness” under the SAVE plan is based on the amount you originally borrowed, not on your current balance or the amount of an individual loan.

How Can I Figure Out How Much I Originally Borrowed?

You can determine your original borrowed amount by accessing your Federal Student Aid (FSA) account at Once there, log in using your FSA ID. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you will need to create one.

After logging in, you will be able to review your loan details, including your original loan amounts.

What Counts as a Payment?

Months during the COVID payment pause will count as payments.

Additionally, months that count under the IDR payment count adjustment will also be considered. These include:

  • Any month a borrower was in repayment, even if the payments were late or partial. The type of repayment plan doesn’t matter.
  • Time spent in forbearance, either periods lasting 12 or more consecutive months or a cumulative 36 or more months.
  • Any month spent in deferment, other than in-school deferment, before 2013.
  • Any month spent in economic hardship or military deferments in 2013 or later.
  • Any months in repayment, forbearance, or a qualifying deferment before loan consolidation.

How Can I Enroll in the SAVE Plan?

If you’re interested in applying for the SAVE Plan or learning more, you can visit

I’m Not Enrolled in SAVE. Should I Switch Repayment Plans?

The SAVE plan is not suitable for every borrower, so it’s important to carefully review your specific situation before changing plans.

If you need help reviewing your loans or are looking for a customized student loan plan, I recommend Student Loan Planner.

Everyone at Student Loan Planner holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), or Certified Student Loan Professional (CSLP) designation. They can help you create a customized repayment plan based on your personal situation and goals. Student Loan Planner is the only service I recommend for personalized student loan assistance.

As always, this information is for EDUCATIONAL purposes only and should not be taken as advice. Please always do your own research.

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