President Joe Biden announced Monday that the application for people seeking student loan debt relief is officially available online.
The form, which Biden said takes less than five minutes to fill out, requires individuals to submit their date of birth, Social Security number and contact information. No other documents are required to be uploaded.
“It’s easy, simple and fast. And it’s a new day for millions of Americans all across our nation,” Biden said.
The application will be open through Dec. 31. The White House said borrowers who would like their balances adjusted before student loan payments restart in January should submit their applications before Nov. 15.
The government soft-launched a beta version of the application late Friday ahead of the official rollout, to allow for the Department of Education to work out any issues. During this period, 8 million people applied, more than a quarter of the total number of applicants the administration had projected.
Biden’s program, which he called a “game-changer” for millions of Americans faced with student loan debt, 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. People who received federal Pell Grants are eligible for up to $20,000 of relief.
The White House has received more than 10,000 comments and calls of thanks from borrowers, Biden said Monday. Thousands of people have also shared the form on social media, saying they submitted their own with little to no trouble.
Biden promised during his presidential campaign to pursue widespread student loan forgiveness, and in August he formally announced his plan to address student debt.
“My commitment was if elected president, I was going to make government work to deliver for the people,” Biden said Monday. “This rollout keeps that commitment.”
Although many debt relief advocates celebrated the move, it sparked intense debate as Republicans denounced it as an unfair handout for college students.
“Their outrage is wrong and it’s hypocritical,” Biden said. “I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people as they recover from the pandemic.”
Several legal challenges to the policy could delay or derail its efforts.
“Our legal judgment is that it won’t, but they are trying to stop it,” Biden said Monday when asked if he’s worried litigation will get in the way of the program.