Student Loan Relief Application Opens Through Test Site: What to Know

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The US government on Friday opened a test site to allow Americans with federal student loans to apply for up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness.

Beta site comes after Biden administration said his goal was to create an app that would be “short and simple”. The test application only takes a few minutes to complete, but could leave some borrowers wondering about when to cancel the debt, among other issues.

About 95% of Americans with college loans should qualify for relief, while the rest make too much money and don’t qualify. While the program could help an estimated 40 million Americans with higher education debt, it has also attracted legal challenges conservative lawmakers and advocacy groups seeking to block the effort.

Unless these challenges result in a court injunction, the beta application site says the Department of Education is on track “to begin canceling student loans in November and December by January 2023, when student loan repayment is expected to resume,” Benjamin Salisbury, an analyst at Height Securities, noted in a research note.

Here’s what to know about applying for student debt cancellation.

What is the beta launch?

The Biden administration is testing the app ahead of its official rollout later this month.

As part of the test, it urges those eligible for the government’s rebate program to “be among the first to apply for student debt relief, by testing the NOW online application before its official launch”, according to an e-mail. Saturday mail from the Ministry of Education.

You can find the beta app here.

If I complete the beta application, do I have to reapply later?

No, according to the Biden administration.

“If you submit an application during this period, it will be processed when the site officially launches,” the Department of Education said. “You will not need to resubmit. If you have already applied and received a confirmation email, you do not need to reapply.”

The app is not available. What’s new?

The Department of Education said the test app “will be available intermittently during this beta period.” Try again if you go to the site and it’s unavailable, according to the agency.

“Once the app officially opens later this month, it will remain open until December 31, 2023,” he said.

What is the duration of the application?

The app is short, with two sections that only take a few minutes to complete.

  • The first section asks you to provide basic information about yourself, including your name, date of birth, email address, and social security number.
  • The second section is a “certification” that you are eligible for loan forgiveness, including that your income is below the eligibility threshold.

Only people who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 and married couples with a total annual income of less than $250,000 are eligible for loan relief under the program.

The app does not require borrowers to upload tax forms or any other documents.

However, Biden administration officials have said there may be instances where some candidates need to provide more documentation to confirm they are eligible. For example, borrowers who “are more likely to exceed the income threshold” may need to provide tax returns or other documents to confirm that their income meets the eligibility criteria, an official said.

What if I claim to be eligible when I am not?

The attestation section of the form asks applicants to confirm that they are eligible “under penalty of perjury”. By signing the attestation, applicants verify that they earn below the income thresholds set by the program and that they are the person requesting the loan relief.

People who claim to be eligible for loan forgiveness, but are actually earning above the income limits, could face fines and other problems, including jail time, officials said. administration.

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