WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden on Monday officially launched the application for student loan relief, after the test version of the site went live this weekend -- a long-awaited first step to fulfilling one of his campaign promises just weeks before the midterm elections.
"Today marks a big step among others that my administration is taking to make education a ticket to the middle class," Biden said.
"A new student loan application is now open. If you have federal student debt please visit student aid.gov. It's easy, simple and fast. And it's a new day for millions of Americans all across our nation."
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said after the Monday briefing that over 8 million borrowers have already applied for loan forgiveness through the "beta" -- or test -- version of the application, launched on Friday.
The rollout is a much-anticipated move to accomplish Biden's August announcement that people with federal student loans can apply for up to $20,000 of debt relief, depending on what kind of financial aid they received and how much money they make.
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"I would still be in debt, but I guess not as bad," Kord Chandler said. "I guess it would be less of a severe thunderstorm and more of a heavy rain."
Borrowers who submitted their applications for the student debt relief program during the beta test period won't need to reapply now that the application is officially launched, according to a department spokesperson.
"As millions of people fill out the application. We're going to make sure the system continues to work as smoothly as possible so that we can deliver student loan relief for millions of Americans as quickly and as efficiently as possible," Biden said on Monday.
"My commitment was, if elected president, I was going to make government work to deliver for the people. This rollout keeps that commitment, just as I'm keeping my commitment to relieve student debt as borrowers recover from this economic crisis caused by the once in a lifetime pandemic."