Biden’s Education Department is informing 8 million student-loan debtors that their debt cancellation would be immediately handled.
For President Joe Biden’s debt forgiveness, millions of student-loan borrowers will not need to take any action.
Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona began the application for student loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 per borrower on Monday. Borrowers are need to provide basic contact information such as their names, email addresses, and Social Security numbers on a form that should take less than five minutes to complete. For approximately 8 million debtors, though, that five minutes may be spared.
Tuesday, the Washington Post was the first to announce that the Education Department has begun alerting borrowers who were qualified to have their loans immediately discharged.
Those borrowers for whom the department already has income information on file are more likely to receive alerts. This often occurs through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, or enrollment in an income-driven repayment plan, which provides borrowers with manageable monthly payments depending on their income.
The agency also told The Post that borrowers eligible for automatic relief might opt out for any reason by contacting their student-loan servicer by November 14. The relief will be processed for the borrowers after the deadline if this requirement is not met.
Here is a likely representation of this notification, according to a borrower who received it this morning.
The department suggests that all other debtors submit their applications by mid-November so that the relief can be approved and applied to their accounts before payments resume the following year.
Uncertain as to how many debtors may choose to opt out of the program, a lawsuit filed last month by a conservative organization claimed that an Indiana plaintiff would be forced to pay an unwelcome tax if relief were enacted.
This case was promptly dismissed by a judge, and the White House stated, “Anyone who does not wish to get debt relief may opt out.” All borrowers have until December 2023 to file an application, and those qualifying for automatic relief may submit a form before mid-November if they want it processed sooner.