Student loan forgiveness: don’t be caught off guard when the application goes live in October – How to prepare

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The Biden administration’s federal student loan forgiveness program, unveiled to much fanfare in August, has encountered some difficulties in setting up and operating it, including multiple lawsuits seeking to either change the program or to close it.

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A few of these lawsuits have already been dismissed, and many experts believe the others will be as well. But they have sown uncertainty over when borrowers will be allowed to apply for loan forgiveness.

Fortune recently reported that the pardon would be pushed back until at least October 17 due to a lawsuit filed by six state attorneys general alleging President Joe Biden exceeded his executive powers. But other media reports — including one last week from CNBC — indicate the application process could go live any day.

Regardless of when the process begins, federal student loan borrowers should be prepared to act quickly when the US Department of Education releases the application form.

Your first order of business should be to check if you qualify for a discount in the first place and then figure out how much. Most federal student loans are eligible, including:

  • Undergraduate and graduate direct loans
  • Parent PLUS and grad PLUS loans and consolidation loans
  • Loans from the Federal Family Education Loan Program

You should also compile your loan records and contact your loan officer to answer any questions you have. Once that’s done, the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website offers these tips for preparing for the application:

  • If you don’t already have one, create one StudentAid.gov account to help you manage your loans.
  • Log in to your account on StudentAid.gov and make sure your contact information is up to date. The Education Department will send you email and SMS updates, so be sure to sign up to receive SMS alerts.
  • Make sure your loan manager has your most recent contact information so they can reach you. If you don’t know who your service agent is, you can log in to StudentAid.gov and see your service agent(s) in your account dashboard.
  • To be informed of the official opening of the process, register on the Ministry of Education subscription page.

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The Education Department will share updates and send emails when the app is available. You will have until December 31 to submit your application.

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