Oct. 4—Question : My daughter got one Pell Grant for college because we were lower -income, and she worked a lot and also took out a small loan. We took out larger parent loans. She is eligible for $20, 000 in relief but doesn't have that much debt. We do. Will she be able to use some of her $20, 000 toward our loan ?
Question : My daughter got one Pell Grant for college because we were lower -income, and she worked a lot and also took out a small loan. We took out larger parent loans. She is eligible for $20, 000 in relief but doesn't have that much debt. We do. Will she be able to use some of her $20, 000 toward our loan ?
Answer : No, but you may be eligible for up to $10, 000 in debt relief yourself, assuming that your loan is held by the U.S. Department of Education and you meet income restrictions.
You are referring to the Biden administration's one-time student debt relief program, for which applications are expected to open any day. Borrowers with loans held by the U.S. Education Department should be eligible if their individual income is less than $125, 000 or their household income is less than $250, 000, according to Federal Student Aid, an office of the Education Department. The maximum relief will be $20, 000 if the student received a federal Pell Grant to help pay for college or up to $10, 000 for borrowers who did not qualify for a Pell Grant. (Pell Grants, which are reserved for the lowest-income students and max out at about $6, 900 a year per eligible student, are not loans and are not paid back ; they are a standard for the debt -relief program as an indicator of financial need.)
Most federal student loans are eligible for the debt-relief program, including Parent PLUS loans. We've heard from other parents in your boat, having taken out federally backed loans to pay for their child's college education, while their child sought grants, scholarships and part-time jobs—money they didn't have to pay back.
In your daughter's case, if she received a Pell Grant as a dependent student and also took out student loans held by the Education Department, "up to $20, 000 in debt relief will be applied to the student's loans—not to any loans their parent may have taken out. A parent who has taken out loans—including loans for their own studies or parent PLUS loans for their child—may qualify for debt relief if they meet the income eligibility criteria. If a parent also received a Pell Grant for their own studies, then the parent borrower may be eligible for up to $20, 000 in relief on their loans. Otherwise, the parent borrower may be eligible for up to $10, 000 in debt relief, " according to Federal Student Aid.
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Q : I received an invitation in the mail Monday to do an online survey about transportation needs and experiences, sponsored by the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization and U.S. Department of Transportation and offering $10 compensation when completed. Is this legitimate ?
A : Yes, if the mailed invitation directed you to NextGenNHTS.com, the website for the National Household Travel Survey, and included a pass code for you to input on the website.
The U.S. DOT and affiliated agencies use this survey to learn about Americans' travel habits in their communities, states and across the country, and to improve transportation infrastructure and policies, according to the website. Respondents are chosen at random. Participation, which the small monetary incentive encourages, is voluntary.
Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations over 50, 000 to designate a Metropolitan Planning Organization as a condition for spending federal highway or transit funds. The OahuMPO, designated for Hawaii's most populous island, facilitates transportation planning among the state, county and public transportation operators that receive federal funds.
The OahuMPO's website says this survey will help officials and planners better understand how people travel on Oahu, and therefore how to prioritize transportation spending, such as for bridges, roads and facilities for bicycling, walking and mass transit.------Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813 ; call 808-529-4773 ; or email kokualine @staradvertiser.com.------