Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan: What you need to know so far

On Monday, 17th October 2022, the Biden Administration’s application for student debt relief was formally launched. This was days after the Education Department published a…

On Monday, 17th October 2022, the Biden Administration’s application for student debt relief was formally launched. This was days after the Education Department published a beta version, hereby beginning the process of providing student debt relief to about 40 million borrowers. Borrowers can now apply for up to $20,000 in student loan relief anytime before 31st December next year. However, the 8 million borrowers who already applied during the beta program do not need to reapply to be considered.

Legal Challenge

On October 21, 2022, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel billions of dollars in college student debt, just one day after a judge dismissed a Republican-led lawsuit by six states challenging the loan-forgiveness program. However, the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre in response, said the temporary order does not prevent borrowers from applying for student debt relief or bar the Biden administration from reviewing applications and preparing them for transmission to loan servicers.

Although, the debt-forgiveness program faces several legal challenges, including lawsuits from a conservative legal organization and Republican-led states, President Biden acknowledged the lawsuits in his remarks on Monday while stating that he doesn’t expect them to get in the way of the relief.  

Do I qualify for the loan forgiveness?

Individuals who made less than $125,000 or couples who made less than $250,000 in 2020 and 2021 are qualified for as much as $10,000 dollars in loan forgiveness. Borrowers who meet those same income demands as well as attended college with Pell Grants, designed to assist low-income students, are qualified for up to $20,000 in debt relief.

The income demand is based on a person’s adjusted gross income, which is usually lower than their total income. A person’s adjusted gross income can be found on line 11 of the IRS Form 1040 in their federal income tax filings from 2020 or 2021.

What Information is needed for the student loan forgiveness application?

The first section of the brief application inquires borrowers of their name, social security number, date of birth and contact information. The second part includes a sworn payment of the borrowers to certify under penalty of perjury that they meet the eligibility demands for the loan relief program. The Education Department could request proof of income later.

When should borrowers expect to see the relief?

Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education previously stated that borrowers could expect to see relief four to six weeks after completing the application, and he encouraged them to fill out the application by latest 15th November to receive relief before the pandemic-related pause on student loan repayment ends.

“This is a game-changer for millions of Americans,” Biden said in his remarks on Monday, with reference to the application launch as a step toward “making education a ticket to the middle class that folks can actually afford.”

Written by: Victoria Oyebande

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  1. Fatima Sillah says:

    I can’t even imagine how much joy this relief program will bring to the average American citizens. Many people often spend their entire lives trying to pay off these debt. God bless Biden and his team. Nicely written, Victoria Oyebande.


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