WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Monday that the online application to receive student debt cancelation is now available.
The form — which can be found at StudentAid.gov — is available in English and Spanish and is accessible on both mobile and desktop devices. The form asks for individuals’ date of birth, Social Security number and contact information. Applicants do not have to upload any documents.
In a speech at the White House, Biden said that it takes less than five minutes to fill out the form. “It’s easy, simple and fast. And it’s a new day for millions of Americans all across our nation,” he said.
The application will be open through Dec. 31, 2022. Borrowers who would like their balances adjusted before student loan payments restart in January should submit applications before Nov. 15, the White House said.
The Biden administration opened a beta version of the application last week ahead of the official rollout to allow the Department of Education to work out any issues. Standing with the president on Monday, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that 8 million people have already applied.
“It took an incredible amount of effort to get this website done in such a short time,” Biden said, thanking Cardona.
After promising for months to take action on student debt, Biden announced in August that he would cancel up to $10,000 for many borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in the 2020 or 2021 tax years. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 of relief.
Although the move was celebrated by debt relief advocates, some have been critical of the administration’s plan, in particular, the short window of time between when the site opens and when the next round of payments is due. The White House has downplayed that criticism.
The Biden administration is also facing several legal challenges to its student debt relief plan, which threaten to delay or derail its efforts.
Asked Monday whether he was worried litigation could get in the way of the program, Biden said: “Our legal judgment is that it won’t, but they are trying to stop it.”