How Can I Apply For Federal Student Loan Forgiveness?

Student loan repayment sign, notepads, calculator and cash.
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On Aug. 24, President Joe Biden announced he would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year.

The initiative was announced after months of speculation and designed to provide some relief to middle and lower-income earners — delivering on Biden’s steadfast promise proposed in the original Build Back Better plan.

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Now that the plan has been unveiled, many are wondering how they can apply for the $10,000 student loan forgiveness. As of Sept. 29, borrowers with student loans through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program and Perkins Loans who have not already consolidated their debt into direct loans will now no longer be able to do so and will no longer be eligible for federal debt relief, according to the Education Department.

The Department of Education stated that an online application for borrowers to apply for student loan forgiveness will be released in October, however, no exact date has been set yet, according to the New York Times.

In the fact sheet the White House released detailing the announcement, it is stated that the Department of Education will work “quickly and efficiently to set up a simple application process for borrowers to claim relief.” Details on what the application process will entail or when applications will be ready have not yet been provided.

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The fact sheet also notes that about 8 million borrowers could automatically receive the relief because their financial data is already in the system.

In the meantime, the Department of Education is extending the student loan pause through December 31, 2022. 

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Amen Oyiboke-Osifo contributed to this article.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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