Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Account Adjustment
Under Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans , any remaining loan balance is forgiven if a borrower's federal student loans aren't fully repaid at the end of the repayment period (either 20 or 25 years, depending on the type of plan).
Starting in November 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) began making updates that will bring some borrowers closer to IDR forgiveness. ED's adjustments to borrower accounts include conducting a one-time revision of IDR payment counters to address past inaccuracies (including automatically forgiving loans for eligible borrowers) and permanently fixing IDR payment counting by reforming ED's IDR tracking procedures going forward.
Please note: If you have applied or will apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), these changes may benefit you by increasing your qualifying payment count under the PSLF Program.
The one-time revision that will count IDR-qualifying payments for eligible borrowers includes:
- Any month in which you were in a repayment status, regardless of whether payments were made partial or late, the loan type, or the repayment plan;
- Any month in which your loans were in an eligible repayment, deferment, or forbearance status prior to consolidation;
- Months while you spent at least 12 months of consecutive forbearance;
- Months while you spent at least 36 cumulative months in forbearance;
- Any months spent in deferment (with the exception of in-school deferment) prior to 2013.
Read on to find out whether you could benefit from this one-time account adjustment.
Who is eligible and how do I take advantage?
This one-time IDR payment count revision applies automatically to borrowers with Direct Loan Program and federally managed Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans.
If you have commercially held FFEL loans, you can only benefit from the IDR account adjustment but only if you consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by May 1, 2023.
This one-time PSLF payment count revision applies automatically to borrowers with Direct Loan Program loans.
If you have FFEL loans, you can also benefit from the account adjustment, but only if you consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by May 1, 2023.
What are the benefits?
If you're a borrower with loans that have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years (that is, 240 or 300 months' worth of payments) — even if you are not currently on an IDR plan — you'll see immediate forgiveness. ED began implementing these changes starting in November 2022. If you have made qualifying payments that exceed forgiveness thresholds (20 or 25 years), you will receive a refund for your overpayment.
Any PSLF borrower who has accumulated time in repayment of at least 10 years (that is, 120 months' worth of payments) and certified employment will see immediate forgiveness.
If you haven't been in repayment long enough to be eligible for forgiveness at the time the payment count is updated, you'll receive more months of repayment credit, putting you closer to forgiveness under IDR or PSLF, as applicable. You'll see your payment counts updated starting in July 2023.
How do I find out more details?
Here are resources on this one-time adjustment:
- Visit StudentAid.gov/announcements-events/idr-account-adjustment , and
- Download this informative fact sheet on the applicability of this one-time adjustment to borrowers seeking PSLF.