UPDATE: As of Nov. 11, 2022, the student loan forgiveness application is no longer available after a federal judge in Texas declared the Biden administration's program "unlawful." You can read the latest updates about the student debt relief plan here.
The Biden administration first announced its plan for widespread student loan forgiveness on Aug. 24. The plan forgives at least $10,000 in federally held student loans for most borrowers, and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.
At the time, the administration said an application for student loan forgiveness would open in October, but it did not specify any particular date. That led to many people asking online when the application will be available.
Is the application for student loan forgiveness open?
Yes, the student loan forgiveness application is open, as of Oct. 14.
WHAT WE FOUND
The application was released in a "beta" format Friday night, Oct. 14, 2022. The White House tweeted a video previewing the beta application website on Oct. 11. Any student borrower who applied during the beta launch will not have to reapply to receive forgiveness.
The form is currently online-only, although it can be filled out both from mobile and from desktop. It comes in two languages: English and Spanish.
To complete the application, borrowers will need their name, birth date, Social Security number, phone number and an email address. Applicants will sign their name to confirm they meet the criteria to receive student debt relief, which will be listed on the form.
The application will not require an FSA ID or any documents, including tax forms; although, if the Department of Education finds discrepancies between its official records and what the applicant fills out, it will request additional documentation.
Student borrowers who received Pell grants will not need to fill out any additional information to confirm they received their grants. The Department of Education already has that data available to them.
Once a borrower has completed their application, the Department of Education will review the application, determine the borrower’s eligibility for student debt relief and then work with the borrower's loan servicer to process the borrower’s relief. The Department of Education has not provided an estimate as to how long it will take to process applications and provide relief to applicants.
The Department of Education will communicate with borrowers primarily through email. It will email or has already emailed the 8 million borrowers who qualify for automatic relief and do not need to fill out applications. For those who do fill out applications, there will be both a confirmation screen after the borrower submits the application and an email to confirm the Department of Education has received the application.
Although there isn’t currently a paper version available, the Department of Education plans to release one sometime in 2023. That form’s deadline will be Dec. 31, 2023, just like the online form.