Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Frequently Asked Questions

Regarding the JRJ Program, is a person eligible if their loan is “past due,” but still reported as in a payment status? Is a person eligible if their loan is in a “deferment” or “forbearance” status?

The JRJ statute authorizes a program by which direct payments are made to the holder of a qualifying loan on behalf of an eligible beneficiary (borrower) who is not in default on a loan for which the person seeks forgiveness. The term “default” is understood to have the same definition as it does under the applicable provisions of the beneficiary’s loan agreement with their lender. Therefore, in reviewing applications, state administering agencies (SAAs) should confirm that the lender does not consider the applicant to be in a “default” status. Any individual who is considered by their lender to be in “default” status at the application stage should not be selected for JRJ benefits.

During the course of the service agreement, SAAs should require periodic certifications by the beneficiary (borrower) and/or lender to ensure that the beneficiary (borrower) is not, and has not been, in a “default” status and therefore has maintained their eligibility for JRJ benefits. The terms of the qualifying loan will control: If “past due,” “deferment,” “forbearance,” or another similar status is not the equivalent of a “default” under the terms of the qualifying loan, then neither will it disqualify the person from eligibility under the JRJ statute. Beneficiaries are required, under the terms of the service obligation agreement, to notify their SAA of a “default” status. Failure to do so will be considered a breach of the service obligation agreement. SAAs should notify their BJA grant managers upon notice of a beneficiary in “default” status.

As of 4/3/2018

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