By now I'm sure you've heard that President Biden announced a new federal student loan forgiveness plan going into effect which will knock out up to $10,000 of student loan debt, but along with that announcement comes a lot of questions, (and complaints).

Document with title student loan forgiveness.

For my own peace of mind, I am not going to touch on the fact that many people who busted their tails to pay off student loans in the past are not happy, instead, I will focus on what Illinois college students who can benefit from this plan need to know.

Important Things to Know About the New Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

My college loans have long since been paid off, but of course, I'm curious to know what the 'catch' is in this new loan forgiveness program. I came across an article from NBC Chicago that listed some very important things Illinois college students need to know, and while there isn't a major 'catch' to this plan, these are the three most important things I think students need to know from the article;

  1. Debt forgiveness is only available for federal student loans, not privately held loans.
  2. If the Department of Education already has your current information on file, you should automatically receive loan relief. If you're unsure if they have your current information or need to update it, you will need to apply for the loan relief on the Department of Education's website.
  3. If you still owe money after the $10,000 loan relief is awarded, your monthly payment may get reduced, or be completely forgiven after 10 years of on-time payments as part of this plan.

Further Loan Forgiveness Opportunities Specifically for Illinois Students

I'm not sure if you are aware of this, (because I certainly wasn't) but the Illinois Student Assistance Commission offers several other different programs for student loan forgiveness. One of the commission's biggest programs offers loan repayments for students "who have made an obligation to work in Illinois for a specific amount of time in a field that has experienced a shortage of workers (for example, teaching or nursing)".

For more information on those programs, visit

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