In advance of the site’s formal debut later this month, borrowers can fill out an application on the Department of Education’s beta test version of its student loan relief website, which went live on Friday.
Also Read: –Student Loan – Why Do You Need It?
Borrowers have been anxiously awaiting news of the next steps ever since President Biden declared in August that he would carry out his campaign promise to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt. The Department of Education is encouraging candidates to submit their applications on the beta test website even though the application, which was initially scheduled to open in early October, is not yet completely functional.
Here’s What To Know About The Beta Version Of The Student Loan Forgiveness Application
The Education Department has stated that the beta site’s application will be accessible “on and off” throughout the coming weeks. The department decided to release its beta version early so that their technical team could work to identify and fix any potential difficulties.
Here’s what you need to know:
How does the beta application process go?
The application will not be completed until after its formal debut, according to the federal agency, so there is no benefit to finishing it beforehand. However, if a borrower completes the application during the beta phase, they won’t have to worry about doing it again later.
The application process can be completed in English or Spanish and takes about 5 minutes. According to the agency, applicants are also not required to log in or submit any supporting documentation. Approximately 95% of people who have federal student loans are qualified for relief.
Although the application itself won’t change, the technical team for the Education Department may alter the website if any bugs are encountered. The team will be responding to potential difficulties in real-time.
The government is advising applicants to check back later if the site is down when they attempt to access it since the beta version of the website will have planned pauses for the team to monitor its development and correct any faults. The government’s website crashed in August on the day the announcement on student loan relief was made; therefore, the department is probably rigorously testing the site to prevent a repeat.
How Soon Should Borrowers Anticipate Receiving Relief?
The Department of Education stated in a legal filing on Friday that the debt relief application won’t be accessible before October 23. The Biden administration had earlier stated that it would be accessible in early October. The application will thereafter be accessible until December 31, 2023.
Borrowers are required to provide their Social Security numbers on the application in order to verify that they fall under the program’s income restrictions, which are a salary of no more than $125,000 (or $250,000 for married couples) in 2020 or 2021. Federal student loan debt can be forgiven by borrowers in the amount of $10,000, while Pell Grant recipients can receive up to $20,000 in relief.
The office of Federal Student Aid will verify applicants’ eligibility and get in touch with them if more information is required. Once their relief has been approved, applicants’ loan service providers are responsible for getting in touch with them.
Borrowers can anticipate receiving their relief within four to six weeks of submitting their application, according to Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education. Experts have advised borrowers to complete the application as soon as possible due to the impending legal action that will challenge the student loan relief programme and the impending renewal of student loan payments that will start in January.
The student loan forgiveness policy is being contested in multiple lawsuits filed against the Department of Education. After hearing a motion for a preliminary injunction on Wednesday, a US district judge may soon rule whether to temporarily stop the programme from going into force. That can halt the cancellation of student loans until the judge renders a final decision in the case.
An administration official told CNN in a phone interview that the technical team for the Department of Education will be monitoring site performance in real time and that the beta version of the website will have scheduled pauses while the team determines what improvements and tweaks are required. Another official added that “high spikes of demand” are anticipated. A beta pause will prompt anyone trying to submit their application to wait and try again.
While the application itself won’t undergo any modifications, the website’s software may as the IT team monitors how it performs in beta mode.
Information about the debt relief programme, who is eligible, and how it operates will be included on the application form. The application will request applicants’ full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, phone numbers, and email addresses.
The beta website will be announced through email to prospective applicants who already subscribed to updates on the student debt relief procedure. After the website is officially launched, the White House will start using its social media platforms to promote it. In the upcoming weeks, officials also want to brief online influencers and producers.