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The state Department of Banking and Insurance is encouraging student loan borrowers with privately held Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans to consolidate their loans before the April 30 deadline to be part of a federal loan forgiveness program.  

The U.S. Department of Education is conducting a payment count adjustment to help correct past errors in student loan servicing that prevented some payments from counting toward forgiveness.  

To raise awareness of the upcoming deadline, the department is contacting eligible borrowers via email to alert them of the April 30 deadline. Loan servicers provided contact information for individuals with FFEL loans.  Based on that information, the Department of Banking and Insurance is contacting over 72,000 individuals about this debt relief opportunity. 

Under a state law enacted in 2019, the Department of Banking and Insurance is required to provide assistance to student loan borrowers. The law also requires student loan servicers to be licensed and regulated by the department. 

“The department wants borrowers to be aware of this upcoming deadline to participate in this federal loan forgiveness program,” said Acting Commissioner Justin Zimmerman. “By acting before the deadline, this historic debt relief opportunity can provide financial relief from burdensome student loan payments for eligible New Jerseyans.” 

Student loan borrowers must apply to consolidate these loans into the Direct Loan Program by April 30, 2024, to receive credit toward loan forgiveness. Application for consolidation is free on the U.S. Department of Education website: 

“The federal government is offering a student loan forgiveness opportunity under the Federal Family Education Loan Program, and we strongly encourage every eligible New Jersey resident to take the steps necessary to apply for this debt-relief program,” said New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) Executive Director Margo Chaly, Esq.

“Our team will also continue to build upon Governor Murphy’s efforts to promote college affordability in New Jersey by providing eligible students with meaningful financial aid from the State to reduce the financial burden of earning a post-secondary degree,” Chaly said.

Consumers with questions can contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243 or submit questions via live chat in their account.

For more information, please review Frequently Asked Questions here.