AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The U.S. Department of Education application that will provide student loan debt relief is now available for borrowers to fill out.
The application can be found at StudentAid.gov. It takes just a few minutes to fill out. It asks for your full name, social security number, birthdate, phone number, and email address.
“One thing that they really have emphasized is that they do want to make it a very simple process,” said Kael Miyata, the Assistant Director of Financial Services & Customer Relations at UMass Amherst’s Office of Financial Aid Services & Undergraduate Admissions.
Miyata told 22News it’s important to make sure you qualify. Borrowers who received a Pell Grant will get $20,000 in forgiveness. Everyone else who’s eligible gets $10,000. Relief will be limited to individual borrowers who make less than $125,000 per year, or couples earning less than $250,000. If you filed federal taxes, your income requirements are based on your adjusted gross income. That can be found on line 11 of the IRS Form 1040.
As millions of borrowers fill out the application, Miyata says scammers are already trying to take advantage.
“I’ve already received a couple of phone calls indicating that there’s going to be student loan forgiveness and that I needed to make a phone call urgently, so there’s going to be those types of phone calls or texts that you may receive,” Miyata explained.
He says to ignore them, and instead go directly to the government’s website. Don’t give away your login information, and don’t pay anyone to help you apply for loan forgiveness.
A federal court order has temporarily blocked student debt cancellation. The government still encourages you to apply while that moves through the judicial process. The deadline to submit an application for forgiveness will be Dec. 31, 2023.
Also important to remember – student loan payments are set to begin again in January. Miyata said to start thinking about your budget now so you’re prepared when payments start back up again.