Student loan forgiveness application beta process launched: Here’s how to sign up

The application process for one-time federal student loan debt relief was opened Friday as part of a beta launch of the Biden administration’s federal student loan program.

Borrowers can go to to apply. According to the site, applications are being accepted during the beta period, allowing applicants to begin signing up prior to the website’s formal launch later this month.

The application takes about five minutes to complete and doesn’t require borrowers to log in or upload any documents. The application will be available on and off during this testing period and there is no advantage to applying before the full launch, the website states.

After the site’s formal launch, the application will be available to borrowers through Dec. 31, 2023. A paper version will also be available for those who can’t apply online.

Announced in August, the program proposes canceling up to $10,000 of federal student loans and up to $20,000 for students who had Pell Grants. Borrowers must make annual income during the pandemic of under $125,000 (for individuals) or under $250,000 (for married couples or heads of households).

The administration also changed the rules for loan repayment based on income, capping it at 5% of monthly income, and extended the deadline to begin repaying federal student loans to Jan. 1.

According to the Education Data Initiative, a nonprofit that collects education data, the average Ohioan has $34,721 in debt. A little more than 15% of the state’s population has student loan debt, according to the same source, and about half of Ohio’s student loan borrowers are under 35 years old. The state’s student loan total is about $62.3 billion.

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