Yes, you can submit the Student Loan Forgiveness Application now (but you don’t need it yet)


Student borrowers can now apply for debt forgiveness, after the Biden administration quietly unveiled a beta version of the loan forgiveness application last week.

On Friday evening, the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website began accepting applications for President Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness program as part of a beta test. The remission program aims to cancel up to $20,000 in federal debt for people earning less than $125,000.

“We are accepting applications to help us refine our processes before the official launch of the form. If you submit an application, it will be processed and you will not need to submit it again,” the FSA website now says.

In other words, completing the beta version of the application will put you in line for loan forgiveness and help the department resolve application issues. Borrowers who complete the beta will receive an email confirmation that their application has been received, but it will not be processed until the program officially launches.

The Department of Education plans to release a full app that largely resembles the beta version by the end of the month. However, the earliest the department will begin canceling student loans is Oct. 23, according to a court document recently filed by the Biden administration.

The administration is currently embroiled in legal battles over a broad loan forgiveness. Most notably, a federal judge in Missouri will soon decide to grant a temporary injunction to halt the rollout of the program while a lawsuit, filed by six Republican attorneys general, plays out in court. The lawsuit has the potential to further delay the timeline for loan forgiveness or stall the program altogether.

However, legal challenges do not prevent the administration from accepting applications.

What to expect on the student loan forgiveness application

The Loan Forgiveness Application beta can be completed in just a few minutes and is available in English and Spanish.

The form only asks for your name, social security number, date of birth, email address, and phone number. You do not need to upload any documents.

At the bottom of the form, you must certify that you meet the program’s income requirements: earning $125,000 or less as a single filer or $250,000 or less as a joint filer in 2020 or 2021. These numbers are based on your adjusted gross income, or AGI. The information you provide must be accurate or you will face perjury charges.

Once complete, the Education Department will send you a confirmation email with additional information. If the ministry cannot verify your income information itself, it may contact you to ask you to provide documentation proving your income.

Loan forgiveness is not on a first-come, first-served basis, so there is no rush to complete the application immediately. However, the processing of forgiveness can take up to six weeks. For this reason, the administration has recommended that borrowers apply by mid-November to ensure loans are canceled before payments restart in January 2023.

The official app, once released, is expected to remain open until December 31, 2023.

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