President Joe Biden officially kicked off the application process for student debt relief program on Monday. Biden’s plan calls for $10,000 in federal student debt cancellation for those with incomes below $125,000 a year, or households that make less than $250,000 a year. The plan makes 20 million eligible to get their federal student debt erased entirely.
Accompanied by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, President Biden said that 8 million eligible borrowers had already applied for relief at the launch period over the weekend. The federal government website studentaid.gov prompts the applicants to provide the name, date of birth, Social Security number and contact information.The Education Department will verify the information against its records to help identify applicants who are likely to exceed the income limits.
The Biden administration said that the application process is “simple, straightforward”.
Student debt forgiveness was an issue that Biden campaigned on as presidential candidate. Republicans and some Democrats have opposed the program calling it an unfair handout for college graduates.
On Monday President Biden defended his plan as part of the commitment he has made for a government that works to deliver for the people. He called out Republicans who have criticized the plan and have filed lawsuits in court in some Republican-led states to defeat it.
The administration says that once the Education Department starts processing the applications, eligible borrowers can expect to see their debt forgiven in four to six weeks.
The president called his program a “game-changer” for tens of millions of Americans eligible for student loan relief.