Student Loan Relief Application Now Open!
On Monday, President Biden announced that the student loan relief application was officially open. In remarks from the White House press briefing, Biden called this a “game changer for millions of Americans.” He also reassured the public that 90% of the relief would go to people who made less than $75,000 annually. “Not a dime will go to those making in the top five percent,” said Biden. Additionally, Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona indicated that the administration is looking into options for those with privately held federal student loans to also receive relief. Last month, the Department of Education announced that these loans would no longer be eligible even though they were initially included in the relief effort. More than 8 million people submitted an application during the site’s beta launch. As many as 40 million may be eligible to apply.
Who Can Use The Student Loan Relief Application?
Under President Biden’s relief initiative, millions of borrowers may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in forgiveness by completing the student loan relief application. Those with Direct loans, including Stafford, PLUS, and consolidation loans, may apply even if their loans are in default. Borrowers with FFELP or Perkins loans held by the government are also eligible. Pell Grant recipients may request up to $20,000 in loan cancelation.
To be eligible, applicants must have 2020 or 2021 income that does not exceed the following:
- Individuals – less than $125,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI)
- Married couples – less than $250,000 AGI
According to administration officials, those who apply but knowingly exceed the income limits may face fines and other penalties, including jail time.
Student Loan Relief Application – How to Apply
The student loan relief application is simple and takes less than two minutes to complete. Borrowers must provide the following information when submitting their request:
- Social Security number (SSN)
- Date of birth
- Phone number
Applicants must review and verify that they meet the income requirements. They must also certify that the information provided on the form is true and correct. No documentation or loan information is required. A loan confirmation will appear once the application is submitted. Borrowers are encouraged to keep a copy for their records.
The deadline to apply is December 31, 2023. Those who apply before November 15, however, should receive relief before loan repayment resumes in January.
Will Borrowers Need to Provide Additional Documentation?
There could be some cases where a borrower may need to provide additional documentation to confirm their eligibility. Dependent students, for example, will likely need to provide evidence that their parents’ income falls within the guidelines. Those who are close to the income limit may also need to provide tax returns or other documentation to confirm they do not exceed the eligibility requirements.
Legal Challenges Could Cause Problems
President Biden reiterated that several lawsuits are pending but seemed confident that the plan would be upheld in court. “Republicans [are] doing everything they can do to deny relief to their own constituents,” said Biden. “I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people as they recover from the pandemic. Especially not the same Republicans who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut in the last administration, mainly benefited the wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations and didn’t pay for a penny of it and racked up the deficit.”
Although several lawsuits have already been dismissed, the one by a group of Republican-led states is still pending, as well as a few others. A U.S. district judge could soon place a temporary injunction on Biden’s program after hearing a motion on it last week. If that happens, the student loan relief application will likely be placed on hold until there’s a final ruling in the case.