Fresh Start Initiative

On April 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced an initiative—called “Fresh Start”—to help eligible borrowers in default.

Fresh Start will continue through one year after the COVID-19 payment pause ends.


You can regain student aid benefits:

  • Access to Federal Student Aid
  • Stopped Collections
  • Eligibility for Other Government Loans
  • Restored Ability to Rehabilitate Loans
  • Access to Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
  • Access to Short-term Relief (Forbearance and Deferment)
  • Access to Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plans

Eligible Loans:

  • Defaulted William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans
  • Defaulted Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans
  • Defaulted Perkins Loans held by ED

If you’re not sure whether your loans qualify, you can call the Default Resolution Group at 1-800-621-3115 (TTY for the deaf or hard of hearing 1-877-825-9923).


We are reviewing defaulted borrowers for Fresh Start Eligibility. This is a manual review and may take time to update the records of all eligible borrowers. Some borrowers will need to complete a Fresh Start Acknowledgement:

  • If a student needs to complete the Fresh Start Acknowledgement, it will appear on your To Do List in LionPATH. 
  • If a parent needs to complete the Acknowledgement, the form will be emailed to the address on the parent plus application. 
  • Borrowers will need to print and sign the document. 
  • Typed signatures are not acceptable. 

Once the signed acknowledgement is received, the default hold will be removed and the student will be reviewed for aid awarding.

For more and updated information please visit Federal Student Aid.