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President Biden said on Oct. 17 that the application for his student debt relief program has exited its beta phase and has officially launched. Eligible borrowers who apply before Dec. 31, 2023 could have up to $20,000 of their student debt forgiven.

Key Takeaways

  • Up to $20,000 in student debt relief is now available for eligible Pell Grant recipients, while non-Pell Grant recipients can still receive as much as $10,000.
  • The application doesn’t require an FSA ID. All you need is basic personal information.
  • Borrowers who earned less than $125,000 (or less than $250,000 for families) in 2020 or 2021 are eligible for debt relief. Proof of income isn’t required for the application.

The Application Process

The Biden administration announced several measures in August to help student loan borrowers, including debt cancellation of up to $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants and up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients. More than 8 million borrowers have applied since the Department of Education opened a beta version of the application late last week. Now that the application has officially launched, here’s how you can apply for your student loan forgiveness:

  1. Open the Federal Student Aid application web page. You don’t need to log in with an FSA ID and the application is available in both English and Spanish.
  2. Enter your full name, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN), phone number, and e-mail address into the relevant input areas.
  3. Double-check that all of your information is correct, click on the box near the bottom of the application, and then click on the blue “Submit” button.

What to Keep in Mind

This student debt relief is only available for individual borrowers who earned less than $125,000 (or less than $250,000 for families) in 2020 or 2021. You don’t have to provide proof that you meet one of these requirements in order to complete your application. By checking the box near the bottom of the page, you are “…[certifying] under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that all of the information provided on this form is true and correct.” The Department of Education will compare your information with loan and income data that’s already on file. Should it find any discrepancies, the Education Department “…will work with borrowers to secure additional documentation.”

After you submit your application, your loan servicer will notify you when your relief has been processed.

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