The HEROES Act Student Loans passed on May 15, 2020. HEROES stands for Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions. The HEROES Act amends and expands the existing CARES Act.
The updated version includes provisions for providing extra financial relief to both federal and private student loan borrowers. This is a huge relief to private student loan borrowers who were earlier excluded. With the extended bill, borrowers with private student loans could have $10,000 in debt written off.
3 Major Extensions of The HEROES Act Student Loans
The HEROES Act bill student loans promises broader loan debt relief for college students than what the CARES Act offered. The three main extensions that the HEROES Act student loans offers are:
#1. Changing the timetable for federal student loan borrowers under the PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness)
The new Act gives federal loan borrowers credit for time spend paying the loan. It allows borrowers to choose to consolidate their loans and have their earlier years of repayment count toward the overall 10 years.
#2. Instituting loan forgiveness of $10,000 for qualifying borrowers
This applies to ‘economically distressed’ borrowers with federal or Perkins loans, or a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) that is privately held and not actually serviced by the federal government. Borrowers who are already paying 0% on their loans will also be able to get up to $10,000 of their debt forgiven. Borrowers who were in default, delinquency, forbearance, or deferment before the coronavirus pandemic began will also qualify.
#3. Extending pauses on loan payments
Students behind on their loan payments would be protected against Social Security offsets, wage garnishment or tax refund offsets. With the new Act, borrowers didn’t have to resume loan payments until Sept. 30, 2021. This is a one-year extension from the earlier deadline of Sept. 30, 2020.
Who Qualifies For HEROES Act Student Loan Forgiveness?
The most significant feature of the HEROES Act is the plan to forgive up to $10,000 student loan deb. This only applies to borrowers who qualify as ‘economically distressed’.
To qualify as an economically distressed borrower, you must meet any one these requirements:
- You must be enrolled in an income-based repayment plan or an income-contingent repayment plan and be paying $0 a month on your federal student loans
- Must be 90 days past due or delinquent on your federal or private student loans
- You must be 270 days past due or in default on your federal or private student loans
- Your student loans are in forbearance or deferment
How The HEROES Act Student Loans May Affect You & What To Do Next
The exact formalities for HEROES Act student loan forgiveness vary depending on the type of loan you have. If you meet any one of the above requirements, make sure to speak to your lender and get the details from them. They will give you the right information about what application form to fill and what documents you need to submit to speed up the process.