Biden administration launches student loan forgiveness application

10/17/22 By Ashlyn Wang

The application for the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program officially opened Monday. 8 million borrowers submitted applications over the weekend when the federal government began its test period.

Under Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, the government will forgive up to $10,000 in loans for borrowers with an annual income of less than $125,000, household income of less than $250,000, and up to $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants. The program, aimed at helping low and middle-income borrowers, will assist an estimated 43 million people, with about 20 million who could have a complete cancellation of their debt. 

“This is a game changer for millions of Americans,” Biden said. 

Although many people still need to fill out the application form, approximately 8 million borrowers who have income information archived at the Department of Education may be able to discharge their debt automatically without submitting any applications, according to the White House. The borrower’s debt should be forgiven within four to six weeks of the Department of Education starting to handle applications, according to officials. Those who wish to apply for loan forgiveness will be able to submit their applications by the end of 2023.

The official announcement of the program came as Biden acknowledged Monday that the administration is in a lawsuit with six Republican-led states arguing the program is beyond Biden’s authority. But Biden said the program would not be affected by it. 

“My commitment was if elected president, I was going to make government work to deliver for the people,” Biden said. “This rollout keeps that commitment.”