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Here’s The 411 On How To Apply For Student Loan Forgiveness

On Aug. 24, President Joe Biden announced his plan for student loan forgiveness — and since then, college students and graduates have been anxiously awaiting for the application to drop. The application is slated to become available any day now, so here’s the 411 on everything you need to know — including how to know if you qualify for student loan forgiveness, what to do to prepare before the application launches, and how and when to apply.

Student Loan Application Launch Date

Although the actual date is TBA, the federal government shared that “a simple application will launch by early October” — and it is early October, so it should be any day now, besties. On Friday, Sept. 30, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that, saying that the government is “trying to give relief to everyday Americans.”

How to Know If You Qualify For Student Loan Forgiveness

Before going through the application process once it launches, first make sure you qualify for student loan forgiveness. Although 8 million borrowers will automatically qualify for forgiveness (basically, the U.S. Department of Education already has their income data on file and can verify eligibility without an application), the other 35 million borrowers will need to apply.

Only borrowers with federal loans are eligible for student debt relief if their individual income is less than $125,000. Pell Grant recipients can qualify to get up to $20,000 canceled, while other students may be eligible to get up to $10,000 canceled. To find out if you received a Pell Grant, create an FSA ID or log on to StudentAid.gov, if you already have an account. Most federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness, including undergraduate and graduate loans, parent PLUS and grad PLUS loans, consolidation loans, Program Loans held by ED, Perkins Loans held by ED, and defaulted loans.

How to Prepare Before Applying

To prepare, log on to StudentAid.gov and make sure all your contact information is up to date. You can also sign up to get email and text update alerts so you know when the application is live. (And if you don’t have an account, make sure to create one ASAP.) Also double check that your loan servicer has the most up to date contact information so they can reach you.

When To Apply For Student Loan Forgiveness

Once the application drops in early October, it will be readily available online, and a paper version will become available later on. Important PSA: All borrowers have until Dec. 31, 2023 to apply, which is the final deadline. In other words, you have time, but the sooner the better! If you want to receive immediate relief before the student loan payment pause ends on Dec. 31, 2022, make sure to apply before Nov. 15.

How To Apply For Student Loan Forgiveness

The application will be a short and sweet online form — you won’t even need your FSA ID, and you don’t have to upload any documentation to submit your application! Major slay, if you ask me. Once the application is completed and submitted, borrowers can expect to receive relief within four to six weeks. 

Want more deets? Check out StudentAid.gov’s FAQs if you have any other questions. Once the form is live, you can also call 1-833-932-3439 for additional assistance. 

Zoë is an associate editor at Her Campus, where she covers Gen Z pop culture, beauty and style trends, and everything in between. She is also a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. When she's not writing or editing, Zoë can be found reading, sipping coffee, and exploring New York City.
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