Biden’s student loan relief application offers sneak preview. Here’s what you need to know.

Biden administration previews form millions of Americans will soon be able to use to apply for up to $20,000 student loan forgivenessalthough the app is not yet available online.

The Department of Education on Tuesday provided an early look at the form, along with more details on what student debt holders will need to complete the application. The overall goal is to provide a form that is “short and simple,” an administration official said on a call with reporters.

The application for loan forgiveness will open later in October, although officials did not reveal the exact day the form will go out. About 95% of Americans with student debt are expected to qualify for loan relief, while the rest earn too much money to qualify for the program. People will need their Social Security number to fill out the application, but will not need to provide their Federal Student Aid ID or upload documents, officials said.

The Department of Education also shared screenshots of the form on its Twitter feed to give borrowers information about what they’ll need Complete the application.

Borrowers who received Pell grants, which are for low- and moderate-income families, can get up to $20,000 toward their debt, while other borrowers can get up to $10,000 in relief.

Here’s what we know so far.

How long does the application take?

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

  • The first section requires you to provide basic information about yourself, such as name, date of birth, email, and social security number.
  • The second section is a “certification” that you qualify for loan forgiveness, such as that your income falls below the eligibility threshold.

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

When and where will the app be available?

Biden administration officials did not say when the paper would be released, but said it will be available online in desktop and mobile versions. The best places to check for the application are the Department of Education website or the Federal Student Aid website, they said. The form will be available in both English and Spanish.

Do I need to upload tax forms?

No. The app does not require borrowers to upload tax forms or any other documentation.

However, administration officials said there may be cases where some applicants need to provide more documents to confirm eligibility. For example, borrowers who are “more likely to exceed the income limit” may have to submit tax returns or other documents to confirm their income meets eligibility requirements, an official said.

Similarly, borrowers who do not file taxes may be required to provide evidence of non-filing.

What if I claim I’m eligible when I’m not?

The attestation section of the form requires applicants to attest to eligibility “under penalty of perjury.” When signing the attestation, applicants verify that they earn below the income limits set by the program and that they are the person applying for loan relief.

People who claim to qualify for loan forgiveness but actually earn above the income limits could face fines and other problems, administration officials said.

“All borrowers who apply will have to affirm under penalty of perjury, which is punishable by heavy fines and jail time,” an official said on the call with reporters.

6 Republican-Led States Sue Over President Biden’s Student Loan Relief Plan


What about legal challenges to the debt relief program?

Several lawsuits have been filed to block the student debt relief program, with a judge expected to rule soon in a challenge submitted by six GOP-led states;. Experts say these challenges are delaying, or even derailing, the government’s loan waiver program.

Asked about the lawsuits, a Biden administration official said they were “going full steam ahead,” adding, “We’re not fooling around.” But the official did not elaborate on the lawsuits or the Biden administration’s response.

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