Despite ongoing lawsuits trying to stop President Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness plan, the White House has shared a preview of the application expected to open to borrowers sometime this month.
In a Twitter thread Tuesday, the White House included a 16-second video that scrolls through the application preview.
It starts by explaining the program, who qualifies, how much debt relief you can receive, and the process that will begin after you submit the application.
Then, you are asked to fill in your basic information: your first and last name, any other last name you’ve had if applicable, Social Security Number, date of birth, phone number, and email.
From there, you will be asked to review and submit an agreement. There are three bullet points in the agreement:
- That you are requesting up to $20,000 in federal student loan relief and will provide the Department of Education proof of income, if requested, by March 31, 2024. If your income does not meet the requirement, your request for debt relief won’t be processed.
- That you verify that you are the individual applying for relief.
- That you meet one of the following requirements: During either 2020 or 2021, you made less than the required income to file federal taxes; you filed as a single tax-filer and made less than $125,000; you were married and filed taxes separately and made less than $125,000; or that you were married and filed jointly and made less than $250,000.
The form’s preview shows you will then be asked to again enter your first and last name, and check a box noting that “under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that all of the information provided on this form is correct.” Penalties for providing false information are listed and include “fines, imprisonment, or both.”
After completing the above sections, all that is left to do is hit “submit.”
After your application has been submitted, it will be reviewed to determine if you qualify for debt relief, and the Education Department will “work with your loan servicer(s) to process your relief.”
The White House noted in the Twitter thread that no supporting documents or FSA login will be needed to complete the application, which will be available in English and Spanish on both mobile and desktop devices.
Though the administration has previously targeted early October, the White House said Tuesday that the application “will open later this month.” It is still intended to be available through 2023.
As it continues to warn borrowers of student loan forgiveness scams, the White House added that the application will be on a “.gov” website, and the Education Department and Federal Student Aid will notify borrowers when the application is available. If you haven’t already, you can sign up to be notified by the Education Department when the application is opened.
Neither the White House nor the Education Department has said when borrowers will be able to start applying. The administration recently said in a court filing responding to one of the lawsuits against the plan that no student debt will be canceled before October 23, Insider reports.
The latest lawsuit against Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan was filed Monday by a small-business advocacy group, the Job Creators Network Foundation, which argues the administration violated federal procedures by failing to seek public input on the program.
Six Republican-led states filed suit late last month, accusing the Biden administration of overstepping its executive powers, as did the Pacific Legal Foundation, a Sacramento, California, legal advocacy group. Their lawsuit, filed in federal court in Indiana, calls the plan an illegal overreach that would increase state tax burdens for some Americans who get their debt forgiven.
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Wisconsin last week dismissed a lawsuit from a local taxpayers group, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, that sought to block the program, ruling that the group didn’t have standing to bring the lawsuit. The group had argued that Biden’s order unlawfully circumvented Congress’ power over spending and said the plan was discriminatory because it sought to give particular help to borrowers of color.
The Biden administration used an act passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as legal justification for the program. The law gives the administration “sweeping authority” to reduce or eliminate student debt during times of national emergency, the Justice Department said in an August legal opinion. The administration cited the COVID-19 pandemic as its emergency.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the program will cost taxpayers $400 billion over the next three decades.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.