The student debt forgiveness application is live online: Here's how to apply

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt at the White House on Aug. 24, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty

Following a successful beta test over the weekend, President Joe Biden announced on Monday the student debt forgiveness application is now live. You can visit the Federal Student Aid website to apply for up to $20,000 of student debt relief.

Individuals who earned under $125,000, or households that made under $250,000, in 2021 or 2020 qualify for up $10,000 in forgiveness. Those who fall within those income thresholds and received a Pell Grant are eligible for an additional $10,000 in r.

If you submitted an application while the site was in beta mode, you will not need to re-submit.

What do I need to apply for student loan forgiveness?

The application should take less than five minutes to complete and is available in English and Spanish. The basic form asks for the borrower's identifying and contact information. The Education Department will contact borrowers if it needs more information, and loan servicers will communicate when the relief has been processed.

Administration officials previously stated that borrowers can expect the relief four to six weeks after submission.

Should I apply for loan forgiveness right away?

In his press conference, Biden said 8 million borrowers submitted applications over the weekend with no technical issues. 

During beta testing, the Education Department stated there was no advantage to applying before the full launch, and there's no reason to hold off on applying now.

"I do not see a benefit to waiting," Michelle Dimino, deputy director of education at public policy group Third Way, tells CNBC Make It.

The order in which the department reviews applications is unclear. Still, if they take a first-come, first-served approach, "it is a benefit for borrowers to apply as quickly as possible so that they are in the queue for review," Dimino says.

When is the deadline to apply for loan forgiveness?

The application will remain open until December 31, 2023. That being said, there are still a number of legal challenges still awaiting judgment and the upcoming midterm elections that could potentially add more delays.

Dimino expected the beta testing to last longer than the weekend, but she thinks the department is trying to accomplish as much as possible before the midterms or legal battles have a chance to delay the relief.

"They're setting themselves up for hopeful success in getting this started early and getting the beta launch rolled out and keeping it nice and simple, so that folks can start getting in their applications when they can start reviewing them, and getting forgiveness out the door," she says.

Check out:

Borrowers react to student loan forgiveness: 'A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders'

Over 700,000 borrowers no longer qualify for student loan relief—how to check if you're still eligible

Student debt experts say $10,000 isn't enough specifically for Black borrowers—here's why

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