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Financial Aid Advisor Speaks About Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

A graphic showing a sticky note with "Student Loan Forgiveness" written on it and a photo of Kristen Mercado, financial aid advisor

Financial Aid Advisor Kristen Mercado presented and spoke on a panel at the 58th Annual State Convention of the Connecticut NAACP, held recently at Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Mercado participated in a one-hour seminar that centered on federal student loan forgiveness, including supporting loan forgiveness to underserved populations. Other panelists represented the American Federation of Teachers, the University of Michigan, and the Connecticut Chapter of the NAACP.

When considering federal student loan forgiveness, Mercado said students should familiarize themselves with types of loan forgiveness by checking the Federal Student Aid website (studentaid.gov), then reach out to their loan servicer to learn more or enroll in an eligible program.

“Borrowers should know that there are currently a few different options available for federal loan forgiveness. Frequently discussed forms of loan forgiveness are the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF), and the Income-Driven Repayment Plan (IDR); however, loan forgiveness is constantly evolving based on decisions made in Congress, so borrowers should speak with their federal loan servicer to find out if they are eligible and to determine a plan that works best for them,” Mercado said.

She added, “Borrowers must have qualifying federal loans to be considered for loan forgiveness programs. The loans cannot be in default, but borrowers can work with their loan servicers to get their loans into good standing and then attempt to qualify for an eligible loan forgiveness program.”

Mercado also said the Department of Education is conducting negotiated rule-making with the hope of adding additional loan forgiveness options for borrowers in the future. She encourages students to learn more about federal student loan forgiveness through the Federal Student Aid website, by contacting their loan servicer directly, or reaching out to the financial aid office.

Students with questions about financial aid at Mitchell may contact Kristen Mercado at mercado_m@mitchell.edu.

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