Did Obama Really Forgive Student Loan Debt?

When you have student loans, any method of getting rid of them as fast as possible sounds appealing. While you might normally be skeptical about claims that sound too good to be true, it's easy to believe in new programs offering forgiveness to help you out of your debt situation.

You're smart to research your options and see if you can repay your student loans with some help -- or to have them forgiven entirely. But you need to be careful. Some companies will try to take advantage of your desire to get your student loan debt forgiven.

So when you hear any company promising to help you take advantage of a program thanks to Obama forgiving student loan debt, treat it as a red flag.

There is no Obama student loan forgiveness program!

Treat claims about Obama forgiving student loan debt with skepticism. Companies promising to help with debt repayment and relief use the phrase to lure in hopeful borrowers.

They're not necessarily running a scam. These companies can enroll you in repayment or forgiveness programs offered by the Department of Education. Some of these programs were enacted under Obama's administration.

The debt relief company charges you a fee to handle the process for you. They may also charge you to consolidate your loans before enrolling you in certain plans. But here's the thing: you don't need to pay any company to do this for you!

These repayment and forgiveness programs are the same that anyone can enroll themselves in for free if you have federal student loans.

Use reputable sources to find forgiveness programs

When you're ready to apply for a forgiveness program or repayment plan, you can go to StudentLoans.gov. Use the application page for income-based repayment plans here.

If you're interested and eligible for student loan forgiveness, stick with the StudentAid.ed.gov site. Go to the resource page for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. You can find the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form on that page, which is what you use to track your eligibility.

You can fill out his form and submit it each year. Public service loan forgiveness requires you make 120 consecutive payments, which takes 10 years. The program was introduced in 2007, so the earliest anyone will be eligible is 2017.

So did Obama forgive debt, or nah?

If you're wondering if Obama forgives student loan debt, the answer is: kinda. While in office, the Department of Education rolled out new plans to help people repay their federal student loans based on income levels.

Whether or not you can get help with repayment or depends on the kinds of loans you have, what programs you qualify for, and what job you work.

Some borrowers do qualify for student loan forgiveness with these programs and take full advantage. But not everyone is eligible.

So no, Obama didn't forgive student loan debt in broad terms. But his administration did make it possible for more people to get help and have an easier time repaying the money they borrowed.