Nelnet and FAFSA sites crash after news of Biden’s student loan forgiveness

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On Wednesday, curious borrowers blocked the Department of Education’s federal student aid website and blocked the website and phone lines of Nelnet, a major federal loan service provider, following of President Biden’s announcement regarding student loan cancellation and reforms.

Biden forgives up to $10,000 in student loans, $20,000 for Pell recipients

The studentaid.gov website – which hosts a page explaining details of Biden’s plan – was “still experiencing a high volume of visitors” late Wednesday night, said a virtual waiting room to access the site’s homepage . Outages spiked around 2 p.m., according to Downdetector, which tracks outages. (Once in the waiting room, a banner on the homepage read: “A lot of people are interested in our website. Therefore, some pages may take longer to load than usual. “)

Nelnet outages continued into the evening, according to Downdetector and IsitDownRightNow, another tracking site. Nelnet said in a Tweeter On Wednesday afternoon he was “experiencing extremely high website and phone traffic.”

He directed borrowers to studentaid.gov, which was also having trouble, saying, “We know you have questions about student loan forgiveness. The Department of Education determines eligibility.

Biden’s plan will cancel up to $10,000 in federal loans for people earning less than $125,000 a year, or less than $250,000 for married couples who file jointly, and cancel up to $20,000 if they had received a Pell Grant. He also announced that federal student loan repayments would be suspended “one last time” until Dec. 31.

Who qualifies for Biden’s plan to cancel $10,000 in student debt?

Online traffic spikes accounted for the magnitude of the ad. More than 45 million borrowers hold $1.6 trillion in federal student debt, according to the White House.

The Biden administration estimated that up to 43 million of those borrowers would benefit from loan forgiveness, of which about 20 million would have their balances completely wiped out.

National video reporter Hannah Jewell explains what you need to know about the Biden administration’s plan to cancel some federal student loans. (Video: Hannah Jewell, Casey Silvestri/The Washington Post)

Borrowers checking to see if relief had hit immediately – if they could access their accounts – were sure to be disappointed, as the process was just beginning. According to the Federal Student Aid website, the Biden administration will “launch a simple application in the coming weeks” for the majority of borrowers, whose income data was not readily available to the Department of Education.

The plan is also likely to face legal opposition, experts say. Doubts had been raised about whether Biden had the legal authority to make such a move, and Republicans criticized the pardon as unfair and a political ploy ahead of the midterm elections.

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