Student loan borrowers can now apply for up to $20,000 in one-time loan relief after the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) launched a beta application.
The DOE said it started performing this soft launch on Oct. 14 to work out any glitches ahead of the full rollout, which is expected sometime later this month.
You may receive an email from the DOE with a link to apply through the beta site. You can also access the application here.
Applications won’t be processed until the full site officially launches later this month.
Once the full site goes live, borrowers will have until Dec. 31, 2022, to submit an application. However, experts recommend submitting your application as soon as possible.
What to Expect on the Student Loan Forgiveness Application
You might encounter some minor bugs or glitches if you submit your application during the beta test.
But if it goes through, you’re good to go, according to the DOE.
“If you submit an application, it will be processed, and you won’t need to resubmit,” the agency noted on its website.
The application itself is super easy, which DOE showed in a video last week. You’ll need to enter basic information, including your name, Social Security number, phone number and birth date.
Student Debt Relief Update:
Today, the U.S. Department of Education is previewing the student debt relief application form. Here’s the latest: pic.twitter.com/efSzRbions
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 11, 2022
There’s no login or FSA ID required, and you won’t submit your financial information with the application.
It takes five minutes or less to complete.
The DOE may reach out to you by email after you submit your application if:
- They need additional documentation from you to verify your income.
- If you were enrolled as a “dependent student” anytime between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, they may need information about your parents’ income.
- The DOE can’t match you to their loan records based on the information in your application.
Who Qualifies for Student Loan Forgiveness?
If you made less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 ($250,000 per household), you can qualify for up to $10,000 in debt relief.
Borrowers who received a Pell Grant in college are eligible to receive $20,000 in forgiveness. Pell Grants don’t have to be repaid but are given based on financial need.
Income requirements are based on your adjusted gross income (AGI), which tends to be lower than your total income. Your AGI can be found on line 11 of the IRS Form 1040.
After You Submit Your Application for Forgiveness
The DOE will notify you when your application is approved.
Your loan servicer will contact you when your debt relief has been applied. Your servicer will also give you updates about your outstanding loan balance and updated monthly payment amount if you still have a balance.
Student Loan Forgiveness Faces Legal Challenges
The Biden Administration announced in August that more than 43 million student loan borrowers will be eligible for either $10,000 or $20,000 in debt forgiveness.
The executive action is estimated to cost $400 billion or more and is currently facing legal challenges in court.
At least five major lawsuits are already in the works. If an injunction is granted, the application and/or debt relief process could be halted until a final decision is made.
That’s why experts recommend submitting your application as soon as possible.
Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.