President Biden officially launches student loan debt forgiveness application, calls it a ‘game changer’

“It’s easy, simple and fast and it’s a new day for millions of Americans across our nation,” said President Joe Biden in remarks on Monday.

The Biden-Harris administration officially launched the federal student loan debt forgiveness application on Monday after initially testing a beta version over the weekend.

President Joe Biden delivered remarks on Monday to give borrowers an update on the relief program application process, saying, “it’s easy, simple and fast.”

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the student debt relief plan as Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona (R) listens in the South Court Auditorium at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on October 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. President Biden gave an update on the student debt relief portal beta test. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“It’s a new day for millions of Americans across our nation,” he added.

On Oct. 14, the U.S. Department of Education released the application to the public and posted a message on the site that read, “We’re accepting applications to help us refine our processes ahead of the official form launch.”

To date, eight million people have submitted an application, and according to the president, no issues have been reported. 

The application will expire on Dec. 31, 2023. According to a report from the New York Times, the administration said in court filings that Oct. 23 would be the soonest that borrowers could begin to see their student debt canceled.

Biden told members of the press that the application process takes less than five minutes and assured that the administration would ensure the process continues to “work as smoothly as possible so that we can deliver student loan relief for millions of Americans as quickly and as efficiently as possible.”

Borrowers are required to fill out their name, social security number, date of birth, phone number and email address. Borrowers must also promise to provide proof of income by March 31, 2024 or else they will become ineligible to qualify for federal student loan debt relief. 

During his remarks, the president said that 40 million Americans would benefit from the student debt relief program and 90% of those Americans earn less than $75,000 a year. 

Students and others listen during a discussion with US Vice President Kamala Harris as she tours Hampton University during a visit highlighting Historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs on September 10, 2021, in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

“If you earn less than 125,000 a year, you’ll get up to $10,000 knocked off of your student debt. If you earn less than $125,000 a year and you received the Pell Grant, you’ll get up to an additional $10,000 knocked off that debt. So $20,000 in relief,” Biden asserted.

The president made certain to note in his speech that the relief would not be available to the wealthiest Americans in the country. “Let me be clear, not a dime will go to those in the top 5% of income,” he said. 

Biden also addressed Republicans who oppose his student debt relief efforts.

“They’re outrage is wrong and it’s hypocritical. I will never apologize for helping working Americans middle class people as they recover from a pandemic,” he declared.

Biden also warned borrowers that they may receive fraudulent calls after submitting an application and may be asked to pay a sum of money in exchange for their student debt being forgiven. 

“If you get a call pretending they’re from the government trying to help you with your loans let’s be clear…hang up and never have to pay for any federal help from the student loan program,” he cautioned.

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