(CNN) — The Joe Biden administration has opened the process for Americans seeking student debt forgiveness to sign up. The site, which is in beta stage, will be available for registration from Friday night, government officials told CNN, allowing applicants to start registering even before the website is formally unveiled. at the end of this month.
In August, President Joe Biden announced his decision to write off up to $10,000 in student loan debt for people making less than $125,000 a year or up to $20,000 for eligible borrowers who also received a Pell Grant.
“Tonight, the Department of Education will begin the beta test of the student debt forgiveness website. During the beta testing period, borrowers will be able to apply for the Biden-Harris administration’s student debt forgiveness program,” a Department of Education spokesperson told CNN exclusively on Friday.
The website is available at the following link: https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application.
Anyone who applies for debt forgiveness in the beta period will receive a confirmation email, but their application will not be processed until the site is formally launched, at a date to be announced before the end of October. Once information processing begins, most qualified borrowers are expected to receive their debt discharge within a few weeks.
The spokesperson continued: “Those borrowers will not need to re-apply if they submit during the beta stage, but those applications will not be processed until the site officially launches later this month. This testing period will allow the Department to monitor the performance of the site through real-world usage, test the site before the official launch of the app, refine processes, and discover potential bugs before the official launch.”
The Department of Education’s technical team will watch the site’s performance in real time and the beta version of the website will have scheduled breaks while the team assesses what improvements and adjustments are needed, an administration official told CNN in a phone interview. Another official added that “high peaks in demand” are expected. Anyone who attempts to submit their request during one of the beta breaks will be prompted to try again.
While there will be no changes to the app itself, there may be changes to the software on the website as the technical team monitors how it works in beta mode.
The application form will include information about debt forgiveness, who qualifies for it, and how it works. Applicants will need to provide information such as their full name, their Social Security number, their date of birth, a phone number, and an email address.
Those who previously signed up to receive updates on the student debt forgiveness process will receive an email notifying them of the ability to sign up for the beta website. Once the website is formally launched, the White House will use its social channels to spread the word. There are also plans to inform digital creators and influencers in the coming weeks, officials said.