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Trump Administration to Automatically Forgive Federal Student Loan Debt for Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans

LOUISVILLE, KY— Today, President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum that will significantly streamline the process to erase federal student loan debt for totally and permanently disabled veterans. Through a process called Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge, veterans will now have their student loan debt discharged unless they decide to opt-out of the process.  The Department anticipates notifying more than 25,000 eligible veterans and continuing the discharge process on a quarterly basis.

The memorandum issued today builds on improvements to the TPD discharge process implemented by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie.  In April 2018, the Department established a data matching process with the VA to identify totally and permanently disabled veterans who are eligible for student loan relief.  Since April 2018, this process has resulted in Secretary DeVos providing more than $650 million in student loan relief to more than 22,000 eligible veterans.

"Supporting and caring for those who have sacrificed much in service to our country is a priority for President Trump and the entire Administration," said Secretary DeVos. "I appreciate the President's strong leadership on this issue and his willingness to provide much-needed student loan relief.  We will continue to prioritize the needs of our nation's veterans and provide them the help and support they have earned and deserve."

Veterans will still have the right to weigh their options and to decline loan discharge within 60 days of notification of their eligibility.  Veterans may elect to decline loan relief either because of potential tax liability in some states, or because receiving loan relief could make it more difficult to take future student loans.  Eligible veterans who do not opt out of the program will have their remaining student loan balance discharged and will be reimbursed for payments made following the date of their disability discharge.