The Biden administration has officially launched the application process to receive federal student loan forgiveness with a beta version of the website that went live over the weekend. About eight million borrowers submitted applications during the first few days, the White House said in a statement.
You can access the online application form by visiting the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website. The application itself should only take a few minutes to fill out, officials said.
The top of the application provides background information on the federal student loan debt relief program, who qualifies, and how it works. Federal student loan borrowers with an annual adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $125,000 in either 2020 or 2021 — or $250,000 for households — will be eligible for up to $10,000 in canceled debt.
Those who received Pell Grants will be eligible for up to $20,000 in canceled debt.
In the first section of the application, called “Borrower Information,” you’ll be asked to provide your full name (including a former last name if applicable), Social Security number, date of birth, phone number and email address.
The second section, labeled “Review and Submit the Agreement,” will ask you to confirm that you request federal student loan debt relief of up to $20,000, and that you met the eligibility requirements. You must also agree to provide proof of income to the Education Department by March 31, 2024, if the agency requests that you do so. You will then be asked to fill in your name again and confirm that all of the information you provided is true and correct.
The Education Department recommends that you apply for student debt forgiveness before mid-November if you want it applied to your account before federal student loan payments resume in January 2023. The payment pause that has been in place for more than two years is due to end on Dec. 31, 2022. If you don’t meet that deadline, you still have until Dec. 31, 2023, to fill out the application.
Once you submit an application, it will be processed and you won’t need to resubmit another one. You also don’t need to upload supporting documents or use your FSA ID to submit the application, CNET reported. The application is available through desktop and mobile browsers in both English and Spanish.
After submission, your application will be reviewed to determine your eligibility for debt relief, and the Education Department will work with your loan servicers to process the relief. You’ll get an email after you submit the application notifying you that it has been successfully received.
The department will contact you if it needs proof of income or other information. You’ll also receive email updates when your application is approved and sent to your loan servicer for processing. Your loan servicer will notify you after it approves your relief and applies it to your account.
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