Federal student aid website lags after Biden’s $10K loan forgiveness announcement

Hours after President Biden announced student loan forgiveness for millions of Americans, the Education Department's Federal Student Aid website was found to be down. Since many people are trying to get into the website, people will be placed in virtual waiting rooms.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hours after President Joe Biden announced many Americans can have up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt forgiven, the website that manages federal student aid became overwhelmed by those rushing to check the status of their loans and whether they qualify.

A message on studentaid.gov says “A lot of people are interested in our website. As a result, some pages may take longer to display than usual. Thank you for your patience.”

When a user clicks to one of those slower pages, another message will display, saying the site is “experiencing high volumes of visitors. You will be able to proceed to the site momentarily. Thanks for your patience!”

Another message below that redirects users to a separate page that has some answers to general questions about the debt relief plan: https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief-announcement/.

Once users get through to the main StudentAid forgiveness/cancellation page, they will see sections for just about everything, including public service loan forgiveness, teacher loan forgiveness, and Perkins loan cancellation and discharge.

According to Biden’s announcement, you qualify to have up to $10,000 forgiven if your loan is held by the Department of Education and you make less than $125,000 individually or $250,000 for a family. If you received Pell grants, which are reserved for undergraduates with the most significant financial need, you can have up to $20,000 forgiven.

About 60% of borrowers are recipients of federal Pell Grants.

If you are a current borrower and a dependent student, you will be eligible for relief based on your parents’ income, rather than your own.

The plan makes 43 million borrowers eligible for some amount of debt forgiveness, with 20 million who could get their debt erased altogether

The plan does not apply to future college students, but the president said he is proposing a separate rule he said would lower monthly payments on federal student debt.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.