(The Hill) – The Biden administration launched a beta version of its student loan forgiveness application on Friday that borrowers can use to apply for their loan forgiveness.
“We’re accepting applications to help us refine our processes ahead of the official form launch. If you submit an application, it will be processed, and you won’t need to resubmit,” the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office said on the website.
The beta version looks the same as the teaser of the application shown by the White House earlier this week, with borrowers only needing to give the department their name, social security number, phone number, date of birth and email.
After borrowers fill out the application, the government provides “next steps” for them. The government says the application will be processed and borrowers will be contacted if additional information is needed. The department will contact borrowers when they have been approved.
The government can ask for additional information such as documents to prove their income or status when they were students.
After a borrower is successfully approved, their loan service provider will let them know the relief is applied.
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A spokesperson for the department said there is no advantage for borrowers who fill out the application during the beta testing stage versus after the official launch.
“This testing period will allow the Department to monitor site performance through real-world use, test the site ahead of the official application launch, refine processes, and uncover any possible bugs prior to official launch,” the spokesperson said.
The beta application will be paused at various points for assessments by the department, it said. Individuals who are unable to access the application are encouraged to check back to see if it is back online at a later point or once the application is officially launched.
The administration still has not given a date for the official launch of the applications that borrowers have been anxiously awaiting since President Joe Biden announced the program over the summer.
Individuals who make less than $125,000 annually and couples who make less than $250,000 annually and have federal student loans not held by a private entity qualify to fill out the application.
Borrowers also have to “certify under penalty of perjury” that the information they input is correct, with potential legal repercussions if information is falsified.