Student loan debt relief application formally launches | NBC 26
MANITOWOC, Wis. (NBC 26) — Mason Wenzel is a freshman music education major at the UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus.
He’s paying about $8,000 per semester in tuition.
“I think all of my money is being paid by grants and loans right now,” he said. “So I’ve got like a 16, 17-grand year.”
This past Friday, the U.S. Department of Education started a test launch of its website that’s dedicated to federal student loan debt relief. Borrowers can now put in an application for loan forgiveness up to $20,000.
Student Loan Hero expert Jacob Channel says that in Wisconsin, the average student loan borrower is sitting on around $30,000 of debt.
“Regardless of whether or not you’re for it or against it, I think that it’s very, very clear that it’s a big deal,” Channel, who is also a senior economist with LendingTree, said.
The application on studentaid.gov asks for details like full name, social security number, date of birth and contact information.
The website says the Education Department will notify borrowers when they’re approved.
“The fact is that tens of millions of students across the country are poised to benefit significantly from this,” Channel said.
“We do know the Department of [Education] has stated, at least they stated initially, that people that applied by the middle or towards the end of November should see their forgiveness hit before payments resume in January,” President and Founder of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors Betsy Mayotte said.
But there are a number of pending lawsuits that student loan experts say could potentially strike down the program, at least in its current form.
“There are people that don’t think they should’ve forgiven anything at all, and there’s various reasons behind why they feel that way,” Mayotte said.
On Monday, President Biden announced the site was fully launched out of the beta stage.
“I think it’s gonna be good so that kids don’t just walk out with as much debt,” Wenzel said. “It’s a little bit of relief.”
Back in August, Biden introduced the student loan forgiveness plan. Individuals making under $125,000 per year, or married couples making under $250,000 per year, can have $10,000 of debt forgiven. For Pell Grant recipients, the government will forgive up to $20,000.