Parent PLUS loans are eligible for forgiveness

We answer common questions from VERIFY readers about how the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan applies to Parent PLUS loans.

President Joe Biden’s administration will forgive individuals earning less than $125,000 and couples earning less than $250,000 between $10,000 and $20,000 in federal student loan debt.

Many VERIFY readers have asked us if their loans can be forgiven, including those who have taken out Parent PLUS loans.

Direct PLUS loans, often referred to as parent PLUS loans, are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help fund college or trade school, according to the Department of Education on its website.

The VERIFY team received several questions about Parent PLUS loans, including whether parents and students are considered separate borrowers and whether parents who have received Pell Grants are eligible for an additional $10,000 in forgiveness.

THE SOURCES

QUESTION 1

Do Parent PLUS loans qualify for debt relief?

THE ANSWER:

Yes, Parent Plus loans held by the Department of Education are eligible for debt relief, senior Biden administration officials have told reporters.

QUESTION 2

Are parents and students considered separate borrowers?

THE ANSWER:

Yes, parents with a Direct PLUS loan and students are eligible for debt relief, the Department of Education confirmed in an email to VERIFY.

Jessica Thompson, vice president at the Institute for College Access and Success, explained that Parent PLUS loan borrowers qualify for forgiveness based on their own income and loan, while their children qualify separately based on the same factors.

QUESTION 3

Would parents who received a Pell Scholarship as undergraduates receive up to $20,000 in forgiveness?

THE ANSWER:

“If both the student and parent received a Federal Pell Grant, each person would be eligible to receive the additional $10,000 in debt relief,” the Department of Education told VERIFY.

More from VERIFY: Yes, there is a way to check if you have received a Pell Grant

QUESTION #4:

Are spouses considered separate borrowers?

THE ANSWER:

“Our current understanding is that if the household qualifies by income, any spouse who holds qualifying loans is eligible for termination,” Thompson said.

These include Parent PLUS, graduate or undergraduate loans.

“The income criterion is common, but the termination applies to any borrower with qualifying credit,” she added.

QUESTION #5:

Is there a way to check the status of a Parent PLUS loan?

THE ANSWER:

Parents can view Direct PLUS loan status either by logging into their Federal Student Aid (FSA) account or by contacting their loan servicer. The FSA account also contains information about the credit servicer. This account should also tell parents if they received a Pell grant.

More from VERIFY: Yes, some federal student loans are required to apply for debt relief

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