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Biden Launches Official Application for Student Debt Cancellation

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

President Joe Biden on Monday announced that the Department of Education’s (ED) application for student loan cancellation is open and ready for eligible borrowers to fill out.

According to the administration, over 8 million borrowers utilized the beta testing version of the form over the weekend. The form, which the White House previewed recently, is available in desktop and mobile versions, as well as English and Spanish. Borrowers will need to provide their name, date of birth, Social Security number, email, and phone number, and self-certify their income through a check-box feature in the application.

Borrowers can apply for cancellation through Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) website: https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was with Biden during the announcement and told reporters that ED is working on pathways to provide relief to borrowers with privately-held Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans. ED in a recent FAQ altered the eligibility requirements for those borrowers.

During his remarks, the president said that opponents of student loan debt cancellation are trying to slow down the process through litigation.

“Our legal judgment is that it won’t, but they’re trying to stop it,” Biden said of efforts to stall the implementation of debt relief.

 

Publication Date: 10/17/2022


Ben R | 10/18/2022 2:4:55 PM

I think the bigger issue is calling those making up to three times the median household income needy. If that's the cutoff for this type of relief, then who is left to actually pay their loans in full?

Peter G | 10/18/2022 11:32:16 AM

While I don't disagree fraud is possible and some measures should be in place, from the census data somewhere in the realm of 90% of the US population falls under those income thresholds.

That puts a ceiling on how widespread it could be, and also should inform how they approach the problem.

Janell V | 10/18/2022 11:1:49 AM

100% agree, James, self-certification of income, leery about that. Let's hope requests will be made of those borrowers whose incomes can't be verified based upon a recent IDR plan request or FAFSA.

James C | 10/18/2022 9:13:16 AM

Will there be transparency in how many applicants must verify their income and how is it determined who will be selected? Will the results of this income validation be available to the public? Self-certification of income just invites fraud.

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