Student loan forgiveness application website goes live
Associated Press | 10/20/2022, 6 p.m.
WASHINGTON - President Biden on Monday officially kicked off the application process for his student debt cancellation program and announced that 8 million borrowers had already applied for loan relief during the federal government’s soft launch period over the weekend.
He encouraged the tens of millions eligible for potential relief to visit studentaid.gov and touted the application form that the president said would take less than five minutes to complete. An early, “beta launch” version of the online form released late Friday handled the early stream of applications “without a glitch or any difficulty,” President Biden said.
“It means more than 8 million Americans are — starting this week — on their way to receiving life-changing relief,” President Biden, accompanied by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, said Monday. The president called his program a “game-changer” for millions of Americans saddled with student loan debt.
The number of borrowers who applied during the testing period already amounts to more than one-fourth of the total number of applicants the administration projected would submit forms, underscoring the popularity of the program and the eagerness of borrowers to receive the debt relief. Some 8 million borrowers who have income information already on file with the Education Department would see their debt canceled without applying.
The Biden administration plan calls for $10,000 in federal student debt cancellation for those with incomes below $125,000 a year, or households that make less than $250,000 a year. Those who received federal Pell Grants to attend college are eligible for an additional $10,000. The plan makes 20 million eligible to get their federal student debt erased entirely.
President Biden promised to pursue widespread student debt forgiveness as a presidential candidate, but the issue went through more than a year of internal deliberation amid questions about its legality. His plan sparked intense debate ahead of the midterm elections, with Republicans and some Democrats saying it’s an unfair handout for college graduates.
But on Monday, President Biden offered a full-throated defense of his decision.
“My commitment was if elected president, I was going to make government work to deliver for the people,” President Biden said. “This rollout keeps that commitment.”
Here’s how to apply: Go to studentaid.gov and in the section on student loan debt relief, click “Apply Now.”