The Biden administration officially opened an easy-to-use, online portal for Americans to see if they qualify for student loan debt relief on Monday after millions of individuals successfully used a beta version during a weekend testing period.What You Need To Know The Biden administration will officially open an easy-to-use, online portal for Americans to see if they qualify for student loan debt relief on Monday The Department of Education on Friday rolled out the beta version of the site and received around 8 million applications during the beta test period The application is a short, one-page online form that asks borrowers to provide their name, contact information, Social Security number and attest that they meet the qualifications for cancellation Officials have encouraged people to apply by mid-November to get relief before payments and interest restart on Jan. 1, 2023
The Department of Education on Friday rolled out the beta version of the site, and on Saturday emailed borrowers who had signed up to receive notifications about forgiveness with a link to test the online application before the official launch. All applications submitted during the testing period will be processed now that the official site is live.
President Joe Biden detailed the successful beta test on Monday afternoon, saying the site “landed and handled more than 8 million applications without a glitch or any difficulty.” The president added that over 10,000 individuals have already emailed, called or otherwise contacted the White House to thank the administration for giving them financial breathing room thanks to the debt relief.
The official portal, which went live after Biden’s address, aims to “work as smoothly as possible so that we can deliver student loan relief for millions of Americans as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” he added.
“You'll be able to fill out your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and contact information – no forms to upload, no special login to remember,” Biden said. “It's available in English and in Spanish, on desktop and mobile. It takes less than five minutes. And if you have any questions you follow up, we will be able to follow up with you. This is a game changer for millions of Americans.”
The application is a short, one-page online form that asks borrowers to provide their name, contact information, social security number and attest that they meet the qualifications for cancellation.
Student loan borrowers qualify for up to $10,000 in forgiveness if they made less than $125,000 per year in 2020 or 2021, or up to $20,000 if their family income allowed them to receive a Pell grant when they attended college.
Officials have encouraged people to apply by mid-November to get relief before payments and interest restart on Jan. 1, 2023.
The nation’s federal student debt now tops $1.6 trillion. More than 43 million Americans have federal student debt, with almost a third owing less than $10,000 and more than half owing less than $20,000, according to the latest federal data.
A large portion of Americans with loans will likely be eligible for $20,000 in forgiveness, since the White House has said that 60% of borrowers were Pell Grant recipients, which the Biden administration has said is evidence that a large portion of debt weighs on low- to middle- income homes.
“Today marks a big step, among others that my administration is taking, to make education a ticket to the middle class that folks can actually afford,” Biden said Monday, later adding: A new student loan application is now open. If you have federal student debt, please visit studentaid.gov. It's easy, simple and fast. And it's a new day for millions of Americans all across our nation.”
Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, who was also present at Monday’s website launch, fielded questions about whether individuals with privately-held loans would become eligible for similar debt forgiveness, saying in part: “We’re working on pathways there to support those, but we're moving as quickly as possible to provide relief to as many people as possible.”
The Education Department this week also continued to warn borrowers about potential scams as they apply for forgiveness.
“My message to fraudsters looking to cheat the American people is, don't do it,” Biden noted Monday, adding: “We're gonna hold you accountable.”
You should never have to pay for help with federal student aid or be charged a fee for relief. The education department’s emails come from email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
You can report scam attempts to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357 or by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.