Photo by: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden announced on Monday, October 17th that the application for his student loan forgiveness program is now open.

Last Monday, the government released a beta version of the application.

According to the White House, more than 8 million borrowers have already filed for debt relief since the program’s Friday start, and there haven’t been any issues or crashes.

President Biden Delivers Update On The Student Debt Relief Portal Beta Test

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“It’s easy. It’s fast,” Biden said in a press conference announcing the launch, noting applications take less than 5 minutes and can be done on a desktop or phone.

The President continued.

“This is a game changer for millions of Americans to get moving.”

Here is some new information that student loan borrowers need to know!

Who is eligible to apply for loan forgiveness?

Parents moving college student

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According to the Federal Student Aid website, Individuals and families with annual salaries between $125,000 and $250,000 within the last year are eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $10,000.

Borrowers who meet the same income requirements and used Pell Grants, which are designed to help low-income students, are eligible for forgiveness of up to $20,000 of their debt.

A person’s adjusted gross income, which is typically less than their total income, determines the income requirement. In federal income tax returns filed in 2020 or 2021, line 11 of the IRS Form 1040 contains a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.

What information must I provide to apply?

Student working at desk in bedroom at night

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On the short application, borrowers must supply their name, social security number, birthday, and contact details.

Under penalty of perjury, borrowers are asked to certify that they meet the requirements for the debt forgiveness program; more proof is not required. The Department of Education can later request proof of income.

According to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, borrowers should submit the application by November 15th to receive relief before the pandemic-related pause on student loan repayment expires.

Cardona previously noted that borrowers should anticipate relief four to six weeks after doing so.

For those that applied for the beta launch, there is no need to reapply. For those that qualify for the loan forgiveness they can request up to $20,000 in student loan relief. However, those that qualify must submit their applications by the deadline of December 31st, 2023.

For those that applied for the beta launch, there is no need to reapply.

“We’ll determine your eligibility and will contact you if we need more information,” the federal student aid site states. “Your loan servicer will notify you when your relief has been processed.”

How Can President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Can Help HBCU Students and the Black Community

Howard University

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According to ABC News, President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which he has stated could help 43 million borrowers this fall, has excited many in the historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) community.

According to United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, HBCUs enroll approximately 10% of all Black undergraduates and advance many Black doctors, lawyers, and judges.

Graduates at graduation ceremony (focus on young man in glasses)

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According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, in 2019, 29% of the Black population aged 25 to 29 held a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 45% of the white population in the same age range.

According to Brookings Institution, Black Americans make disproportionately less money than their fellow white counterparts, in addition, Black Americans have one-sixth the wealth of White Americans on an average, per capita basis.

And the average Black borrower has a debt of approximately $53,000 whereas the average white borrower has a debt of approximately $28,000 four years after graduation.

According to a recent Ithaka S+R research, HBCUs were more likely than their peer institutions to dramatically raise their debt during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Recession of 2007, to close budget deficits.

The survey also discovered that financially troubled HBCUs with high borrowing rates may have been obliged to take out even more debt during the pandemic to continue their operations.

The application will not need borrowers to upload any documentation, including tax records, nor will they require an FSA ID to log in/apply. On mobile and desktop platforms, the form is accessible in both English and Spanish.

Please be sure to apply for the Student Loan Forgiveness, if you qualify!

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