President Biden’s administration opened the student loan relief application process with a beta period beginning Friday evening.
The relief request website will officially launch later this month.
A Department of Education spokesperson told CNN that “the Department of Education will begin beta testing the student debt relief website. During the beta testing period, borrowers will be able to submit applications.
Those requesting student debt relief during the beta trial will receive an email confirmation, but their requests will not be processed until the official launch of the website.
After the launch, applicants are expected to start receiving their debt relief benefits within a few weeks.
The purpose of beta testing is to see how the website performs, allowing the administration to troubleshoot issues before the fallback website is launched.
Due to the nature of testing, the beta website will not be available 100% of the time, and the government has said there is no advantage to applying early.
“This testing period will allow the department to monitor site performance through real-world usage, test the site before the app’s official launch, fine-tune processes, and uncover any bugs before official launch,” the Department of Education spokesperson told CNN.
Individuals who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 and families who earned less than $250,000 during this period are eligible for government student debt relief.
These borrowers will receive “full or partial loan release of up to $20,000 for Federal Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients.”
Debt relief only applies to loans taken before June 30, 2022. The application period lasts until December 31, 2023.