After millions of borrowers submitted applications for Biden’s student loan forgiveness through a beta version of the website that was made available late last week, President Biden announced the official launch of the online student loan debt relief application on Monday.
At a press conference to announce the program’s beginning, Vice President Joe Biden referred to student loan debt forgiveness as a “game changer,” noting that it would put more than 8 million Americans on the path to receiving relief that would alter their lives.
The debut of the application coincides with legal challenges to President Biden’s proposal to forgive up to $20,000 of eligible students’ student loan debt. The verification of the student loan debt relief applications may be delayed by these legal issues—at the very least until October 23.
Applications now available in the US
Now available on Studentaid.gov in both English and Spanish, the application for student debt relief can be completed by anybody. The form contains details on the debt relief program, who is eligible for it, and how it functions. It requests applicants’ full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, phone numbers, and email addresses, among other details. The application is open until 31st December 2023.
In August, Biden revealed his intention to forgive up to $10,000 in borrowers’ student loan debt who make less than $125,000 annually, or up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients who qualify.
As of now, none of the cases have succeeded in stopping the program, which the Biden administration claims is protected by the HEROES Act, which gives the Education Secretary more power than usual during emergencies like COVID. According to Biden’s administration’s legal analysis, the relief program won’t be stopped.
The Paycheck Protection Program and American Rescue Plan loans, among other COVID-related assistance programs, have benefited many of the GOP lawmakers who have opposed the policy, according to Biden.
More than 8 million people are expected to verify the application
The Department of Education claims that the income information for around 8 million borrowers was already known, most likely as a consequence of prior financial assistance applications or applications for income-driven repayment plans. Unless they choose to opt out, those debtors will automatically obtain debt relief if their income meets the conditions.
Tens of millions of borrowers will receive extensive relief thanks to the application’s formal launch, which represents the next stage of a major technical initiative by government agencies and student loan servicers.
Important dates for applicants
The U.S. Department of Education said in September that Biden’s loan forgiveness program applications would be available in “early October.” Borrowers should sign up for updates on the Department of Education website before a precise date is announced.
Federal student loan holders must be prepared to apply for forgiveness by November 15, according to higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz, speaking to CNBC. The cancellation request will take about six weeks to be processed and approved. You have a better chance of having your debt forgiven before the federal student loan moratorium expires on December 31 if students submit their application by November 15.
Whatever the case, December 31st is significant because it marks the end of the federal student loan standstill. Students have to make sure that they have enough money saved up to start making payments again in January if they still owe money on debt after the amount has been forgiven.
Students have to make sure that they have all the necessary paperwork in hand before beginning the application process. To support their appeal, borrowers should compile all accessible documentation related to their student loan debt.