A long-awaited application for President Biden’s unique student loan forgiveness initiative just went live on Friday.
Under Biden’s new plan announced in August, millions of student borrowers could be able to receive $10,000 or more in student loan forgiveness for government-administered federal student loans, 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 married) in 2020 or 2021 to qualify for relief.
Here’s what you need to know about the new app.
You can apply for student loan forgiveness now
The Department of Education has launched the official app to apply for student loan forgiveness, and can be viewed here.
The online application is online only and is quite simple. Borrowers will simply need to enter basic information, including their name, social security number, contact information, and date of birth. Borrowers must certify that they meet the income criteria and are eligible, and can then sign electronically. No login is necessary and no supporting documents are required.
The Ministry of Education has previously indicated that it will follow up with a portion of borrowers for additional information and supporting documents, so be prepared to provide proof of income (such as your tax return) at a later date.
The student loan forgiveness app is a soft launch
The Department of Education calls the current online application a “beta launch”.
“We are accepting applications to help us refine our processes before the form is officially launched,” the Department for Education said in a post. “If you submit a request, it will be processed and you will not need to submit it again.” No loan forgiveness will actually be approved until the end of this month at the earliest.
However, as this is a beta launch, borrowers should be aware that there may be bugs. And if too many people apply at once, it’s unclear if the Department of Education’s online system will have the capacity. When President Biden first announced the student loan forgiveness initiative, the Department of Education’s StudentAid.gov website experienced serious traffic problems.
Student loan forgiveness application window is open, with some uncertainty
According to the Biden administration, borrowers will have until December 31, 2023 to apply for student loan forgiveness. Borrowers therefore have ample time to seek relief.
However, several legal challenges could throw wrenches into the initiative, possibly causing delays or complications if a court issues an injunction to block the program. A key hearing took place earlier this week in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of Republican-led states; a decision from this hearing is expected any day now.
Further Reading on Student Loan Forgiveness
In Reversal, Biden Administration Announces New Student Loan Forgiveness Eligibility Limits
Biden administration reveals potential start date for student loan forgiveness, but there’s a catch
5 key takeaways from the sudden change in student loan forgiveness eligibility
Biden’s student loan forgiveness could be taxable in some states