Student Loan Forgiveness Program Now Open

Student Loan Forgiveness Program Now Open

Chip East / REUTERS

The federal student loan forgiveness program created by the Biden administration is now accepting applications, potentially providing tens of millions of Americans with significant reductions and in many cases eliminations of their student loan debt.

“Today, I’m announcing millions of people working and middle-class folks can apply and get this relief. And it’s simple and it’s now. It’s easy,” President Joe Biden said Monday in a speech delivered at the White House. “This is a game changer for millions of Americans … and it took an incredible amount of effort to get this website done in such a short time.”

In a brief beta test of the system that began last week, more than 8 million people applied for debt forgiveness.

The Biden administration unveiled the program in August. It forgives $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals earning less than $125,000 per year, and twice that amount for those who received Pell Grants, which typically are given to students from low-income households. The White House says more than 40 million people currently owe money on their student loans, with a cumulative balance of $1.7 trillion. The majority of borrowers will be eligible for some kind of relief.

Critics charge that the program is too expensive, with cost estimates in the neighborhood of $400 billion. Some Republican groups have sued to put a halt to the program, and litigation could delay if not derail implementation in the coming months.

The application form and more information are available at