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Student Debt Relief and Loan Forgiveness

Student Debt Alert!

Monthly student loan payments will resume October 2023. 

On June 30, 2023, the Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden's student loan debt forgiveness plan. Following a three-year pause on federal student loan borrowers, repayment for student loans will resume with interest accrual beginning September 1 and payments are due in October. You should receive a notification from your borrower at least a few weeks before your first payment is due in October 2023.

Currently, more than one in six adults in Los Angeles (16.9% of the county’s population) have student loan debt. Nearly 1.3 million borrowers owe a total of $54.5 million, with an average student debt balance of $42,060. 

While the Presidential Administration’s one-time debt cancellation was not passed in the Supreme Court, other major student loan relief initiatives continue - help is available!

See below information on programs, see if you are eligible, and learn how to access them:

  • Income-Driven Repayment (IDR): IDR plans reduce your monthly payments based on your income (as low as $0) and forgive remaining debt after 20 to 25 years. 
    • To request an IDR plan call your servicer or visit the Student Aid website
    • The Department of Education’s one-time IDR Account Adjustment will retroactively credit borrowers with time towards loan forgiveness, even if they haven’t been in an IDR plan.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): PSLF allows government and nonprofit employees to have their debt canceled after 10 years of qualifying payments.
  • Fresh Start for Borrowers in Default: Fresh Start is a new program from the Department of Education to help eligible borrowers in default. If your loans are eligible, you’ll temporarily regain several student aid benefits. You’ll also get the opportunity to get out of default and keep those benefits for the long term.
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Borrower Assistance

  • Get free legal assistance: Contact Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) 
    • Phone number: 1-800- 399-4529 or apply online
  • Get help from state officials: DFPI Student Loan Ombudspersons are a dedicated resource committed to providing information that is critical to many student loan borrowers. 

Borrower Protections 

Read below about important protections that are in place at the state and national level. 

  • Loan Discharge: There are several kinds of federal student loan discharge. “Discharge” means you are no longer required to make payments on your student loans due to certain circumstances. 
    • You may be eligible for a kind of federal student loan forgiveness called Borrower Defense if you took out loans to attend a school that misled you about your likelihood of finding a job or obtaining certification or licensure in your field of study, the school’s graduation rates, earnings after graduation, or the cost of education at the school. 
    • If your college or career school closed while you were enrolled or soon after you left school, you may qualify for a closed school discharge of your federal student loans. Other forms of discharge include Ability to Benefit Discharge, Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, and more. You may want to seek legal assistance with your application for loan discharge.
  • Watch out for scams! You might be contacted by a company saying they will help you get loan discharge, forgiveness, cancellation, or debt relief for a fee. You never have to pay for help with your federal student aid
  • Submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a portal that borrowers can use to submit complaints about student loan payments. 
Students holding diplomas

Other Resources