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Biden administration officially opens application for student debt cancellation

Qualifying borrowers have until Dec. 31, 2023, to fill out the online form to get up to $20,000 in federal student debt canceled.
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Monday that the online application to cancel federal student debt is available.

The form — which can be found at — is available in English and Spanish, and it is accessible on both mobile and desktop devices. The form asks for people’s dates of birth, Social Security numbers and contact information. Applicants do not have to upload any documents.

In a speech at the White House, Biden said it takes less than five minutes to fill out the form. “It’s easy, simple and fast. And it’s a new day for millions of Americans all across our nation,” he said.

The application will be open through Dec. 31, 2023. Borrowers who would like their balances adjusted before student loan payments restart in January should submit applications before Nov. 15, the White House said.

The Biden administration opened a beta version of the application last week to allow the Education Department to work out any issues. Standing with the president Monday, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said 8 million people had already applied.

“It took an incredible amount of effort to get this website done in such a short time,” Biden said, thanking Cardona.

President Joe Biden speaks about the student debt relief portal beta test in Washington on Oct. 17, 2022.
President Joe Biden speaks about the student debt relief portal beta test Monday in Washington. Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

After having promised for months to act on student debt, Biden announced in August that he would cancel up to $10,000 for many borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in the 2020 or 2021 tax years. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 of relief.

Although debt relief advocates celebrated the move, some have criticized the administration’s plan, in particular the short window of time between when the site opens and when the next round of payments is due. The White House has downplayed the criticism.

The Biden administration also faces several legal challenges to the plan, which threaten to delay or derail it.

Asked Monday whether he was worried litigation could get in the way, Biden said: “Our legal judgment is that it won’t, but they are trying to stop it.”

CORRECTION (Oct. 17, 2022, 6:57 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the deadline to apply for student loan debt relief. It is Dec. 31, 2023, not the end of this year.