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Biden administration officially opens application for student debt cancellation

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Monday that the online app to receive student loan waiver is now available.

The form — available at StudentAid.gov — is available in English and Spanish and can be accessed on both mobile and desktop devices. The form asks for the person’s date of birth, social security number, and contact information. Applicants are not required to upload any documents.

In a speech at the White House, Biden said it takes less than five minutes to fill out the form. “It’s easy, simple and fast. And it’s a new day for millions of Americans across our country,” he said.

The application is open until Dec. 31, 2023. Borrowers who wish to adjust their balance before student loan payments resume in January must submit their application by Nov. 15, the White House said.

Biden’s government opened a beta version of the application last week ahead of the official rollout to enable the Ministry of Education to resolve any issues. Education Minister Miguel Cardona stood next to the president on Monday and said 8 million people have already signed up.

“It took an incredible amount of effort to get this website ready in such a short time,” Biden said, thanking Cardona.

President Joe Biden speaks on October 17, 2022, on the beta test of the student debt relief portal in Washington. Brendan Smialowski / AFP – Getty Images

After months of pledging to take action on student debt, Biden announced in August that he would cancel up to $10,000 for many borrowers who made less than $125,000 in tax years 2020 or 2021. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 in exemption.

While the move was celebrated by debt relief advocates, some were critical of the government’s plan, particularly the short time between opening the site and when the next round of payments is due. The White House has downplayed those criticisms.

The Biden administration also faces several legal challenges to its student debt relief plan, which threaten to delay or derail its efforts.

When asked on Monday whether he feared lawsuits could get in the way of the program, Biden said: “Our legal verdict is it won’t happen, but they’re trying to stop it.”

CORRECTION (October 17, 2022, 6:57 p.m. ET): In an earlier version of this article, the deadline for applying for student loan debt relief was incorrect. It’s December 31, 2023, not the end of this year.

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