early and often

12 Million People Have Applied for Student-Debt Relief Since This Weekend

President Joe Biden with U.S. secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. Photo: Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

When President Joe Biden announced in August that his administration would be taking steps to cancel some amount of student-loan debt for millions of Americans, the news was met with a variety of reactions.

There was excitement from some borrowers, frustration from those who felt the plan didn’t go far enough, and concerns that the cancellation might add to inflation when prices have already risen significantly. But there were also skeptics who remembered the last time the federal government tried to set up a website, which resulted in a disastrous rollout. (Although healthcare.gov is still going strong all these years later.)

The student-loan-debt application had its beta launch over the weekend, and according to Biden, things went smoothly.

“It landed and handled more than 8 million applications without a glitch or any difficulty,” he said on Monday, calling it a “game-changer for millions of Americans.”

As of Monday, the application is officially live for the general public. Since then, 4 million additional people have applied for debt relief, bringing the number of applications to 12 million and counting.

Applicants who received Pell Grants can receive up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness. Those who didn’t can receive up to $10,000. Qualifying household income is less than $125,000 for individuals and less than $250,000 jointly. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2023.

12 Million People Have Applied for Student-Debt Relief