The United States Department of Education launched a beta website which will be allowing federal student loan borrowers to submit applications for debt forgiveness on Friday, October 14. It comes after US President Joe Biden announced a student debt relief plan in August 2022, which has since then met with stark criticisms.
“Tonight, the Department of Education will begin beta testing the student debt relief website. During the beta testing period, borrowers will be able to submit applications for the Biden-Harris Administration’s student debt relief program,” a statement by an Education Department official to CNN read.
Who is eligible for Student loan forgiveness debt relief?
The initiative by the Biden administration will allow up to $10,000 in debt relief to eligible borrowers who earn less than $125,000 annually. Apart from that, it will also apply to couples who file their taxes together and have a yearly income that is less than $250,000 each year.
As per the plan, borrowers who have federal student loans are eligible for debt relief up to $10,000, having earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 as a lone tax filer. They will also need to earn an income of less than $250,000 in the 2020 or 2021 economic years if they are the head of a family or filing jointly with their partners.
The initiative will also ensure debt relief up to a further $10,000, with a total of $20,000 debt if they are Pell Grant recipients.
Prospective applicants who do not know their exact income in the aforementioned economic years and filed federal tax returns in these years can check their income from tax returns by using a free IRS online account.
The initiative also includes parents of students, who have taken out Parent PLUS loans for paying for their children’s college or graduate education. This includes around 3.7 million families, owing a total of $104 billion. According to The Century Foundation, the debt for a median family in the United States is $29,600.