(NEXSTAR) – Millions of Americans are soon going to have much, if not all, of their student loans forgiven. But one of the biggest questions that has remained since President Biden announced his student debt forgiveness plan last week is when borrowers will receive relief.
We have known that as many as 8 million borrowers may qualify for relief automatically based on income data the Department of Education already has access to. For the remaining 35 million borrowers the White House believes qualify for student loan forgiveness, a form will need to be submitted.
What we haven’t known is when exactly that form would be available, and how long it would take for loan forgiveness to be approved and pushed through.
Miguel Cardona, Secretary of the Department of Education, has an answer.
In a post on Twitter, Cardona explained forgiveness will be “as easy as 1,2,3.” He then outlined what the process will look like.
In early October, an application will be launched for borrowers that need to submit information needed by the Education Department.
After you’ve submitted that form (we don’t know what it will look like, but officials have indicated it will be short) Cardona says you can expect relief within four to six weeks.
While you’ll have until the end of 2023 to apply for loan forgiveness, you’ll want to fill out the application before Nov.15, 2022, to receive student debt relief before the payment pause ends, according to the Education Department.
In addition to announcing student loan forgiveness last week, President Biden extended the payment pause through the end of this year. This is the final time the pause, which was enacted in March 2020 by then-President Trump, will be extended, Biden said.
Until the application opens in October, there isn’t much borrowers can do. You can, however, register to be notified when the application is available through the Department of Education by filling out this form.
There are a few factors that will determine how much student loan forgiveness you’ll receive. You can review those here.
In addition to student loan forgiveness, the Biden administration proposed a new rule to create an income-driven repayment plan that will substantially reduce future monthly payments for lower- and middle-income borrowers, as well as long-term changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.