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Student loan forgiveness: Millions mistakenly told their debt relief was approved



WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJBF) — A corrected email will soon be sent out to millions of student loan borrowers after they received an email last month with the wrong subject line telling them their student debt relief had been approved.

According to Business Insider, the emails were supposed to say that the applications were received. Around nine million student loan borrowers who had applied for relief had received incorrect emails between November 22 and November 23, 2022.

The error was made by a federal contractor in charge of sending out email communications on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education.

Both the U.S. Department of Education and the contractor, Accenture Federal Services, are investigating the error and working on quality control to make sure that there are no issues moving forward.

“Communicating clearly and accurately with borrowers is a top priority of the Department,” an Education Department spokesperson told Nexstar in an email. “We are in close touch with Accenture Federal Services as they take corrective action to ensure all borrowers and those affected have accurate information about debt relief.”

The spokesperson added that corrected emails will be sent to affected individuals in the coming days.

A representative told CBS that Accenture Federal Services “regrets the human error” that led to an “inaccurate subject line,” and that Accenture is now working with the Department to review quality control measures.

Nexstar reached out to Accenture but did not immediately receive a reply.

More than 26 million people have already applied for relief, but the Education Department stopped processing applications last month due to legal challenges and the plan has been put on hold. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in the case in February.

If the legal hurdles are cleared, the Biden Administration’s plan would forgive $10,000 in federal student debt to those with incomes under $125,000 or households making less than $250,000. Recipients of the federal Pell Grant would be eligible for an additional $10,000 forgiven.

While the plan is on hold, President Joe Biden extended the pause on student loan payments through June 30. If the lawsuits are resolved before the end of June, the pause will end sooner.



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