How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness

How to Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness

This application comes just months after Biden announced that borrowers who have federal student loans will be eligible for up to $20,000 worth of Student Loan Forgiveness.

Borrowers will have until Dec. 31, 2023, to complete their application, but fortunately, the current application process can be completed in minutes.

Below, Select looks at who is eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness and how they can apply.

Who is eligible for student loan forgiveness?

Only borrowers who hold federal student loans and meet certain income requirements can qualify for forgiveness.

In 2020 or 2021, single earners must have made less than $125,000, and for households, less than $250,000. Note that you only need to meet the income requirements for either 2020 or 2021, not for both years. The requirements are based on your adjusted gross income (AGI), not your total income. Your AGI is often lower than your total income, and you can find it on your most recent tax return.

If you’re a Pell Grant recipient who meets the income requirements, you can have up to $20,000 forgiven. Everyone else who meets the income requirements can have up to $10,000 forgiven. It’s estimated that 43 million of the total 45 million federal student loan borrowers will qualify for some relief.

Federal student loan funds received before June 30, 2022, are eligible for forgiveness.

How to apply for student loan forgiveness

The application to apply for student loan forgiveness is short and straightforward. In order to apply, first go to the official application:

To apply online, you’ll need to provide your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and email. While you do not need to enter your AGI in the application, only people who meet the income thresholds can apply. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only some applicants will be contacted and required to provide proof of income.

If you cannot apply online, the Department of Education claims that a paper application will be available soon. You can find an FAQ on the website too.

While the official application for forgiveness launched on Monday, eight million borrowers completed the beta version of the application this weekend, according to Biden. Those who completed the beta application do not need to resubmit the application and will be considered ‘first in line to receive forgiveness.

And some people may not need to submit an application for relief. Nearly eight million borrowers will automatically receive forgiveness because their income data is already on file with the Department of Education. These borrowers can also opt-out of receiving relief.

How long will it take for student debt to be forgiven?

It will take four to six weeks after you submit your application for it to be reflected in your loan balance. Your loan servicer will notify you when it does. If you want relief before student payments resume on January 1, you should submit your application before November 15.

Federal student loan payments were paused throughout the pandemic by both the Biden and Trump administrations. Payments are now set to resume on Jan. 1, 2023. If you continued to make payments during the pandemic, you can actually ask your loan servicer for a refund and then apply for student loan forgiveness to have your debt wiped away.

What if you have private student loans?

Unfortunately, private student loans are not eligible for forgiveness. If you do have personal student loans and want to save, it may be worth looking into refinancing, which can qualify you for better repayment terms, including a lower interest rate.

Note that if you have federal student loans and want to refinance them to get a lower rate, you’ll also lose any federal protections.


For federal student loan borrowers, debt relief could be imminent. After borrowers fill out a simple application on the Department of Education website, relief will take four to six weeks to show up on people’s accounts.

Borrowers will have until Dec. 31, 2023, to apply and if they do so before November 15, 2022, it will be reflected in their balances before monthly student loan payments resume on January 1.

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