The Biden administration has officially opened the applications for student loan forgiveness following a weekend of successful beta testing.
The long await is over for millions of Americans who can now officially apply for student debt forgiveness. The Biden administration officially launched the one-time student loan debt forgiveness application following a weekend of beta testing the application to real applicants to iron out any potential issues. Now, after a successful go of it, they’ve launched the real deal.
The Washington Post reports that eight million people applied for loan forgiveness through the open beta testing on the weekend.
"It's easy. It's fast," Biden said in a press conference announcing the application process is now open. He said that applying for loan forgiveness will take less than five minutes, and it’s accessible across devices, including desktops and phones.
"This is a game changer for millions of Americans to get moving," he added.
"Today, President Biden took a major step forward to help free millions of American workers and families from the weight of the student loan debt crisis—an extraordinary achievement in its own right and a clear reminder of the work that remains to be done," said Student Borrower Protection Center executive director Mike Pierce.
"The door to transformational debt relief is now officially open, millions have already walked through it, and we must ensure no borrower is left behind. Make no mistake, this would not have been possible without the millions of borrowers who spoke out and the Biden Administration who demonstrated the power of a government that listens and centers the people. We applaud the Administration's efforts thus far and look forward to working towards a future where no borrower has to bear the burden of student debt.”
Here is what you need to know about the application process.
Who qualifies to apply to the student loan forgiveness application?
Millions of Americans who have federal student loans and who make under $125,000 if they are single filers, and $250,000 if they are joint-filers, will receive $10,000 of loan forgiveness, or $20,000 if they received a Pell Grant.
There are also significant reforms proposed to the income-driven repayment program that will transform student debt balances for many borrowers. For more details on who qualifies for this program, read our explainer here.
What is the deadline to apply for student debt forgiveness?
The deadline to apply for student debt forgiveness is December 31, 2023, so most people will have slightly more than a year to apply for forgiveness.
However, it’s important to note that for anyone who is eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) limited waiver, the deadline to apply for that is October 31, 2022 — and missing out on that window could make it harder to maximize your student loan forgiveness potential.
Do I need to apply again if I applied during the beta testing period?
When the Department of Education rolled out the beta test over the weekend, it was clear that any applications sent through during that time do not need to be resent. So, if you’ve already applied, there’s nothing extra you have to do.
What information is needed and how to apply?
To apply, borrowers need to fill out an application, which can be done online. All you need is pretty standard personal information. This includes:
- the applicant’s full name
- former name, if applicable
- social security number
- date of birth
- phone number
Applicants will also need to provide proof of income should the Department of Education ask to verify and confirm that all requirements are met. A digital signature is also required.
For more information and to fill out your application, visit https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application. Happy applying!