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Student loan forgiveness update: White House unveils application preview

The previewed application appeared to be simple, with supporting documents not required.

WASHINGTON — The White House shared a first glimpse of a promised online application for President Joe Biden's one-time federal student loan forgiveness program Tuesday. Officials previously said an application would be available "by early October," but legal fights seemed likely to slow that timeline. 

In a series of Twitter posts, the White House said the application would be "short and simple," available in English and Spanish, with "no supporting documents or FSA ID needed." 

It also shared a short video previewing the form on a smartphone. According to the video, the application will ask for the borrower's name, social security number, date of birth and contact information. 

Borrowers will also be asked to sign and agree to a form declaring that they qualify for relief based on the income requirements, with possible penalties including "fines, imprisonment or both" if the information is false.

The Department of Education will review applications, determine eligibility and work with loan servicers to process relief. 

The White House said the window to apply will open later in October and run through December 31, 2023. While some borrowers already have their income information on file with the Department of Education, most people will need to apply for debt relief.  

Tuesday's preview comes days after the Biden administration's first legal filing in defense of the plan in response to GOP-led lawsuits. In the Oct. 7 filing, the White House said the Department of Education "will not discharge any student loan debt under the debt relief plan" before Oct. 23. 

RELATED: No student loan debt relief coming before Oct. 23, White House says

Biden's plan, first announced in August, will forgive $10,000 of student loan debt for most borrowers earning less than $125,000 individually per year, or less than $250,000 for married couples. Students who received Pell Grants are eligible for up to $20,000 of federal debt relief.

A FAQ page on the government's website for student aid says a paper application will eventually also be available, though it will initially be online-only. 

Megan Divers contributed to this report. 

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