A long-awaited application for President Biden’s one-time student loan forgiveness initiative just went live on Friday.
Under Biden’s new plan announced in August, millions of student loan borrowers may be able to receive $10,000 or more in student loan forgiveness for federal student loans administered by the government, including all Direct loans and some (but not all) FFELP loans. Pell Grant recipients can receive up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness. Borrowers must have earned less than $125,000 in income (or less than $250,000 if they are married) in either 2020 or 2021 to qualify for the relief.
Here’s what you need to know about the new application.
You Can Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness Now
The Education Department has launched the official application to apply for student loan forgiveness, and can be accessed here.
The online application is online-only, and is fairly straightforward. Borrowers will simply have to enter basic information including their name, Social Security number, contact information, and birth date. Borrowers must certify that they meet the income guidelines and qualify, and can then electronically sign. No log-in is necessary, and no supporting documentation is required.
The Education Department previously indicated that it will follow up with a portion of borrowers for additional information and supporting documentation, so be prepared to provide proof of income (such as your tax return) at a later date.
Student Loan Forgiveness Application Is A Soft Launch
The Education Department is characterizing the current online application as a “beta launch.”
“We’re accepting applications to help us refine our processes ahead of the official form launch,” says the Education Department in a message. “If you submit an application, it will be processed, and you won’t need to resubmit.” No loan forgiveness will actually be approved until later this month at the earliest.
However, because this is a beta launch, borrowers should be aware that there may be bugs. And if too many people apply at once, it is unclear if the Education Department’s online system will have capacity. When President Biden first announced the student loan forgiveness initiative, the Education Department’s StudentAid.gov website encountered serious traffic problems.
Student Loan Forgiveness Application Window Is Open, With Some Uncertainties
According to the Biden administration, borrowers will have until December 31, 2023 to apply for student loan forgiveness. So there is plenty of time for borrowers to request relief.
However, several legal challenges could throw wrenches into the initiative, possibly leading to delays or complications if a court issues an injunction to block the program. A key court hearing was held earlier this week in a suit brought by a coalition of Republican-led states; a ruling from that hearing is expected any day.
Further Student Loan Forgiveness Reading
In Reversal, Biden Administration Announces New Eligibility Limits On Student Loan Forgiveness
Biden Administration Reveals Potential Start Date For Student Loan Forgiveness, But There’s A Catch
5 Key Takeaways From The Sudden Change To Student Loan Forgiveness Eligibility
Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Could Be Taxable In Some States