by Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education launched a beta test of its website for student loan forgiveness Friday evening, allowing borrowers to sign up before the website is launched later this month. 

Borrowers may apply during the beta testing period, but the applications will not be processed until the site is launched later this month. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2023. 

The Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Department of Education announced the student debt relief plan in August, which provides up to $10,000 in debt cancellation for borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year and couples who file taxes jointly and earn less than $250,000 annually.

Pell Grant recipients, who make up the majority of borrowers, would be eligible for an additional $20,000 in debt relief. All other borrowers with federal loans will qualify for up to $10,000 in relief. 

The Department estimates that, over the next up10 years, the program will cost on average $30 billion annually.  

The plan aims to help more than 40 million borrowers, according to the administration. 

The application form requests a borrower's full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and contact information and includes an income-related question for 2020 or 2021 to verify the applicant’s eligibility.

The Education Department said it will work to determine an applicant's eligibility, and once approved, it will notify borrowers that their applications were sent to loan servicers to process debt relief. Loan servicers will inform borrowers that relief has been applied, in addition to providing any details about outstanding loan balances and monthly payment updates.

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