The Education Department’s website for reducing student loans will enter its beta testing phase tonight. A Department of Education spokesperson told Empowerment opportunities on Friday that applications for the Biden-Harris Administration’s student debt relief program will be accepted during the beta testing period.
A maximum of $10,000 in federal student loan debt may be forgiven for those who made less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021, or less than $250,000 as a married couple or head of household. A person’s adjusted gross income is used to determine eligibility for certain benefits.
Once the website is live, applicants can submit their information and should hear back about debt relief within a matter of weeks.
There has been a multi-year moratorium on student loan payments due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and officials have stated that their “goal” is to begin processing debt relief applications before January 2019.
A number of cases have been filed against the Department of Education over its student loan forgiveness program. On Wednesday, a US district judge heard arguments in favor of a preliminary injunction, which could delay the program’s implementation for a while. As a result, the judge’s decision may delay any plans to forgive the student loans.
An administration official told CNN in a phone interview that the Department of Education’s technical team will be monitoring site performance in real time and that the beta version of the website will have scheduled pauses while the team assesses what refinements and tweaks are needed due to the “high spikes of demand” that are anticipated. Applicants who try to submit their information during a beta freeze will be asked to try again later.
While the application itself will remain unchanged, the website’s back-end may be tweaked based on data gleaned from the beta phase.
In order to apply for debt relief, a form will be made available that details the process, who is eligible, and the specifics of the debt relief being offered. There will be fields for applicants to fill out, such as name, SSN, DOB, phone, and email address.
As soon as the website is officially launched, the White House will begin to leverage its social channels to spread the word. Applicants who have previously signed up for updates on the student debt relief process will receive an email informing them about the beta website. Also, in the coming weeks, officials plan to brief digital creators and influencers.
How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness
To apply for debt relief, visit https://studentaid.gov/.
Applicants who submit their information during the beta phase will receive a confirmation email, but their debt relief applications will not be processed until the site officially launches at a date that has not yet been announced but is expected to occur before the end of October. Once the paperwork is submitted, most qualified borrowers can expect debt relief within a matter of weeks.