Biden Administration Previews Student Loan Forgiveness Application — How Much Longer Until You Can Apply?

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Americans who qualify for federal student loan forgiveness can now take a peek at the application, though they still don’t know when the application process will begin.

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On Tuesday, the Biden administration provided a preview of the student loan forgiveness application website, CNN reported. In a briefing with the media, White House officials said the application website will be live “later this month” and applications will be open through December 2023, but did not provide a specific launch date.

You can look at a PDF version of the application form — which administration officials referred to as “short and simple” — ahead of the official launch.

The forgiveness plan, announced in August, will cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals who earned less than $125,000 in either 2020 or 2021. For married couples or heads of households, the income threshold is less than $250,000 a year during those years. Income thresholds are based on adjusted gross income. Qualifying borrowers who also received a federal Pell grant while enrolled in college are eligible for up to $20,000 of canceled debt.

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The application form includes information on who is eligible for debt relief, what it is and how it works. You will need to provide your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, phone number and email address. You will also have to review and submit the application.

“We’ve worked really hard to make this application simple and straightforward,” a senior administration official told reporters. “We kept the number of questions to a minimum and designed it in collaboration with user testing.”

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Borrowers will not need to log in with their Federal Student Aid IDs, the official added, or upload any documents. The application will be available on both computers and mobile devices, and in English and Spanish.

The million-dollar question is when borrowers will finally be able to fill it out — especially in the face of numerous legal challenges to the forgiveness plan.

As previously reported by GOBankingRates, one group that opposes the plan, the Pacific Legal Foundation, filed a suit to stop mass cancellation on the grounds that borrowers living in some states would be unfairly taxed. The White House responded by saying borrowers would be able to opt out of the plan. This led a federal judge in Indiana to dismiss the group’s suit on the grounds that the plaintiff couldn’t be injured if his debt wasn’t being forgiven.

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Another suit was filed by the attorneys general of six states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina. This suit argues that Biden had overstepped his authority by approving the forgiveness plan. A hearing in that case was scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12 in Missouri federal court.

For now, all the Biden administration will say is that the application process will begin this month. According to the U.S. Department of Education, borrowers who apply in October could receive forgiveness as soon as November.

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In addition, borrowers are encouraged to file their forms by Nov. 15 if they want the debt cancellation applied to their balances before the student loan payment pause ends on Dec. 31, 2022. Otherwise, you’ll have through the end of 2023 to apply for the student debt relief.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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