With millions of Americans eager to apply for Biden’s sweeping student loan forgiveness before the end of the year, the U.S. Department of Education has launched a beta version of the form for federal student loan debt relief. Here’s what to know about the current state of the application process, and whether it makes sense for you to send yours in ASAP.
Should you apply now for student loan forgiveness now?
The purpose of this beta launch is for the Department of Education to refine their processes ahead of the official form launch. The good news is that if you submit an application, it will be processed, and you won’t need to resubmit. Otherwise, there’s no significant risk to trying out this beta version. As CNET explains, the only reason you might wait to apply is if you’re currently working to get student loans you’ve already paid down refunded.
Be aware that the application will be available on and off during this beta period. If you try to use this version and it’s not available, it may be closed only temporarily. You can revisit and try again later.
When will the official application be ready?
Although we don’t have a specific date, the application is set to officially open later this month and will remain open until Dec.31, 2023. So while there’s no need to rush and panic, it doesn’t hurt to send in your application ASAP.
What do you need to apply?
Thankfully the application is “short and simple”: It requires only basic information, including name, birth date, Social Security number, phone number, and an e-mail address. No supporting documents (like tax records) or Financial Student Aid ID will be needed.
Applications are for individuals who made less than $125,000 in 2021 or 2020 or families that made less than $250,000 in 2021 or 2020. Here’s what else you need to check to see if you’re eligible for student loan forgiveness (like finding out if you have a pell grant).
What happens after you submit?
Once you submit your form, FAFSA will review your application, determine your eligibility for debt relief, and work with your loan servicer to process your relief. Instead of having to provide documents that verify that you, as an individual, earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 or, as a couple, less than $250,000, the application simply asks borrowers to check a box to “certify 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.”
No student loan debt will be canceled before Oct. 23, 2022, but NPR reports that borrowers who fill out the application should see their debts canceled within a matter of weeks. Again, here is the application page for the beta version out now.
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