Student borrowers began applying for up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness on Friday after the Department of Education launched a beta test of its website ahead of the full rollout of the relief program.
Opening student loan forgiveness applications in the website beta test
The portal — available at https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application — will be available intermittently during beta testing, the agency said. The department’s technical team will pause the site at various times for evaluations, improvements and maintenance. The agency encourages borrowers unable to access the form to try again later or wait until the application is available to everyone. There’s no benefit to applying before the full launch, the agency said.
“Borrowers won’t need to reapply if they submit their application during beta testing, but no applications will be processed until the site officially launches later this month,” a spokesperson said. of the department. “This testing period will allow the Department to monitor site performance through real-world usage, test the site before the official app launch, fine-tune processes, and uncover any bugs before the official launch.
The ministry continued to lay the groundwork for the rollout as the pardon plan faces multiple legal challenges. The app is set to open to all borrowers later this month.
Earlier this week, the Biden administration took a first look at the request form for the president’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in federal debt for eligible borrowers. He previously said the application would be short and borrowers would not be required to provide documents or a federal student ID number.
White House shares first look at student loan forgiveness application
The application will require borrowers to give their social security number and certify that they have earned less than the income limits set for the relief. The forgiveness is limited to borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021, or less than $250,000 for married couples. According to the White House, nearly 95% of borrowers with federal student loans meet the program’s income requirements and are eligible for relief.
Borrowers have been clamoring for more information on the forgiveness plan since President Biden unveiled it in August. They crashed the Ministry of Education website on the day of the announcement. Testing the application portal could help the administration avoid repetition.