- Student-loan borrowers got a first look at the online debt relief application on Tuesday.
- Administration officials dismissed concerns that the site will not be able to handle the traffic.
Millions of borrowers will soon be going to the same website to apply for student-loan forgiveness — and the White House is confident the site will hold up.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden’s administration gave borrowers their first look at the application for debt cancellation that is expected to become available later in October. Senior administration officials told reporters on a press call that the form will be “simple and straightforward,” only requiring basic information from borrowers like name, date of birth, and Social Security Number.
But in the wake of several technical hiccups over the past few months, there are a number of questions with how smoothly implementation will roll out. After Biden announced up to $20,000 in student-loan forgiveness for federal borrowers making under $125,000 a year, several sites temporarily crashed or had a waiting room to access information, including the Federal Student Aid website and student-loan servicer sites.
When asked if the application site will run into the same hurdles, administration officials dismissed the concerns.
“We are working very hard to make sure the form can handle the traffic we anticipate, and I feel very good about our work on that project,” one official said.
Another official added that “we have been hard at work because we know the interest, we know the excitement, we know the potential demand. So we are using all our best practices… to make sure that we can handle that volume. At the same time, I think it’s important as we communicate to borrowers, this is going to be available through December of 2023, and that is a set period of time including by which new people can apply.”
As Insider previously reported, while the application will remain open through the end of 2023, the administration recommends that borrowers apply before mid-November this year to ensure relief will hit their accounts before payments are scheduled to resume in January 2023. Additionally, according to the new details released on Tuesday, borrowers will not need to use their Federal Student Aid ID to apply for relief and will only need to submit documentation if they receive a request from the Education Department.
While there is not yet an exact date for when the application will become live — the administration only said it will be available in October — a number of lawsuits filed by conservatives seeking to block the debt relief could potentially push back the timeline. A judge is expected to hear arguments in one of the suits on Wednesday on whether to halt the policy.