President Joe Biden on Monday afternoon unveiled the fully operational online portal for his student loan debt forgiven program that will cancel up to $20,000 in federal loans for some borrowers.
“This is a game changer for millions of Americans,” said Biden in remarks from the White House, “and it took an incredible amount of effort to get this website done in such a short time.”
While the administration launched a beta version of the site Friday, the official online portal (which can be accessed at https://studentaid.gov/welcome/) is now available to all eligible borrowers who want to apply for federal student loan debt forgiveness.
According to the White House, more than 8 million people accessed the beta website over the weekend to explore the information or fill out the application. The welcome page states that eligible borrowers can apply starting today, but must do so “no later than Dec. 31, 2023.”
The site also says: “Time to Complete: About 5 Minutes[…] No Login or Documents Required.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was among congressional lawmakers saying that she has already had many constituents applaud the forgiveness program and the application process.
I've already heard from 100s of constituents how much The President's student loan cancellation will be effecting them. Tens of thousands of dollars of debt – hundreds of dollars a month in payments – wiped out in 5 minutes using the White House's app: https://t.co/EW7dsK6X5q— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 17, 2022
“If you haven’t yet,” tweeted Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), “today is a great day to apply for student loan cancelation!”
Borrowers who make less than $125,000 a year are eligible to have up to $10,000 in federal student loans forgiven while recipients of federal Pell Grants are eligible for up to $20,000 in forgiveness.
While progressives continue to push for full cancellation of all student loan debt, the Biden program will impact an estimated 40 million U.S. borrowers.
Mike Pierce, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, which advocates for debt relief, welcomed the development.
“Today, President Biden took a major step forward to help free millions of American workers and families from the weight of the student loan debt crisis—an extraordinary achievement in its own right and a clear reminder of the work that remains to be done,” Pierce said in a statement.
“The door to transformational debt relief is now officially open, millions have already walked through it and we must ensure no borrower is left behind,” he added. “Make no mistake, this would not have been possible without the millions of borrowers who spoke out and the Biden Administration who demonstrated the power of a government that listens and centers the people. We applaud the Administration’s efforts thus far and look forward to working towards a future where no borrower has to bear the burden of student debt.”
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