The government’s student loan sites are crashing after debt relief announcement

The government’s financial aid website is crashing after President Joe Biden’s announcement of a federal student loan forgiveness program that cancels up to $20,000 of student loan debt for some people. According to several user reports on Twitter, Downdetector.com, and testing done by Verge staffers, people are having issues logging into StudentAid.gov or even getting the site to load at all.

The plan announced on Wednesday doesn’t provide blanket loan cancellation — those with a personal income over $125,000 (or double that if they’re married and file taxes jointly) aren’t eligible for forgiveness, and people who received Pell Grants will have more debt canceled than those who didn’t. The complexity has wound up leaving a lot of people confused and looking for a way to check their eligibility, which has apparently not meant great things for the government’s student loan sites.

One of our staff members got an error trying to log into their account.

Thankfully, another announcement from the White House makes student loans less of an immediately pressing problem; the pause on payments has been extended through December 31st, 2022, though the government says this is the last extension.

The government isn’t the only one dealing with a surge of traffic after the news — some users are also reporting having issues accessing loan provider sites from the likes of Nelnet and Great Lakes.

If you’re looking for details about whether you qualify and are struggling with websites being down, the Department of Education has an explainer about the program and is promising “more details” in the coming weeks.

When contacted for comment, Department of Education spokesperson Jim Bradshaw told The Verge that the site was working properly for him but the department was investigating the reports. Reports of the site not working are continuing to roll in on social media.



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