The Biden administration has launched a beta version of its student loan forgiveness app, and borrowers can apply now. But there are a few things you need to know first.
Where to Find the Student Loan Forgiveness Application
The Department of Education has launched an online application for Biden’s new student loan forgiveness plan, which can provide up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness for government-administered federal student loans.
The application is available here through the StudentAid.gov website. Borrowers do not have to log into the StudentAid.gov website using their FSA ID (their unique username and password). Simply complete the online form, e-sign and submit.
The Ministry of Education has warned borrowers against scammers. You can apply directly through this official online application portal – you don’t need to go through a third-party company.
The student loan forgiveness application process
Borrowers simply need to provide their information (name, contact details, and personal identifying information such as social security number and date of birth). They must also certify, under penalty of perjury, that they earned less than $125,000 in income (or less than $250,000 if married) in 2020 or 2021 to be eligible for student loan forgiveness in the part of Biden’s plan. You can learn more about the eligibility rules for the unique student loan forgiveness initiative via the Department of Education website.
Borrowers should receive an electronic confirmation of submission for your records.
Borrowers will not have to submit supporting documents with their applications. However, the Ministry of Education will then follow up with several million borrowers over the next year or more to verify income information. You should be prepared to provide a copy of your tax return if you receive such a request.
What a “beta launch” of the student loan forgiveness app means
This is a beta release of the student loan forgiveness app. This means the Department of Education is using this initial launch to test the process and make improvements before the app is more widely available. It’s a real request, and the Department of Education says it will be addressed (and you won’t have to resubmit it), but you won’t get immediate relief.
Additionally, high traffic volume may mean that the beta application may become temporarily unavailable. Some users were already reporting issues last night. And as of this writing, the app is indeed temporarily inaccessible.
“Thank you for visiting the Student Loan Debt Relief Application,” a message on the application’s website reads. “We provide periodic access to the form to help us prepare for our official launch. We appreciate your interest in debt relief and invite you to come back soon.
Student loan forgiveness applications not yet processed
Although the request is legitimate, no request for student loan forgiveness will be immediately processed. The earliest any application will be processed and approved is Oct. 23, according to a filing by the administration earlier this month.
The Department for Education has previously said it expects applications to be processed within four to six weeks of submission.
Full app launch coming soon
If you are unable to access the beta application, do not panic, you will have until December 31, 2023 to apply. The Department of Education hasn’t provided a firm timeline on the apps’ wider availability, but it’s expected to arrive later this month.
Of course, there are several lawsuits aimed at blocking the initiative. Depending on the outcome of the preliminary hearings in these lawsuits, the program could be delayed or blocked. A hearing earlier this week could be an early test, and the court could rule on a preliminary injunction as early as this week.
Further Reading on Student Loan Forgiveness
Student Loan Forgiveness Application is Live – Key Initial Launch Details
In Reversal, Biden Administration Announces New Student Loan Forgiveness Eligibility Limits
5 key takeaways from the sudden change in student loan forgiveness eligibility
Biden’s student loan forgiveness could be taxable in some states