Student loans

You can automatically qualify for student loan forgiveness. Here’s why.

Comment

The Department of Education has begun notifying about 8 million student borrowers of their eligibility for automatic forgiveness of up to $20,000 of their loans under President Biden’s debt relief plan .

These borrowers, for whom the department has income information, will not have to apply like the vast majority of people seeking to have their debts forgiven. They have either recently filed for Federal Financial Aid, or FAFSA, or are enrolled in an income-based loan repayment plan.

Those eligible for automatic relief can opt out of the Debt Cancellation Program by November 14 by contacting their student loan officer. If they don’t withdraw, the department will process the relief after Nov. 14, according to the agency. Borrowers eligible for automatic relief can complete an application if they want the cancellation to be processed sooner.

The administration said more than 40 million people are eligible for the loan forgiveness program. Most will need to apply for the program, with 12 million people enrolled so far, the president said.

Asking for Biden’s student loan forgiveness? Here’s what you need to know.

White House officials say the administration’s intent has always been to give borrowers the option to participate in the president’s program. The issue drew attention last month after a conservative Indiana lawyer filed a lawsuit to block the program, saying debt cancellation would force him to pay more state taxes. high because Indiana plans to tax federal debt relief as a form of income.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed the claim, telling reporters that “anyone who doesn’t want debt relief can walk away.”

A federal judge denied the Indiana attorney’s request for a preliminary injunction in the case, citing the opt-out clause. The lawyer unsuccessfully appealed the decision.

The administration is also battling other challenges to the pardon plan.

The Education Department’s outreach to borrowers eligible for automatic relief comes a day after Biden officially launched the bid for one of his flagship economic programs. The department opened the form over the weekend as part of a beta test, hoping to find and fix any issues on the site. Eight million people had applied during the soft launch this weekend and an additional 4 million have filled out the form since then, the president said on Tuesday.

Borrowers have widely praised the simplicity and ease of the application process, but some people abroad have reported difficulty accessing the website. The Biden administration has said it is aware of the problem and is working on a solution.

Eligible borrowers will receive an email from the Department of Education detailing automatic relief options. Agency officials are urging borrowers to be wary of companies offering help with student loan forgiveness in exchange for payment.