Student-loan borrowers will have until the end of next year to apply for Biden's one-time debt cancellation

The application for President Joe Biden's one-time blanket student-loan forgiveness will close at the end of next year.

At the end of last month, Biden announced up to $20,000 in debt cancellation for federal borrowers making under $125,000 a year. While qualification is automatic for about 8 million borrowers whose income information is readily available to the Education Department — either through a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form or income-driven repayment plans — most borrowers will have to apply through an online form.

According to an FAQ on, the application is set to become live in early October and borrowers will have until December 31, 2023, to apply for relief. The Education Department recommends that borrowers apply before November 15 this year because it will take four to six weeks for the relief to hit borrowers' accounts. Getting a form in before that date will ensure borrowers have an updated balance before payments resume on January 1.

It's unclear what the application will look like, but even before the debt-cancellation announcement, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed concerns with how the relief would be rolled out. In June, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota led some of her Democratic colleagues in writing a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona expressing the importance of ensuring "borrowers get relief quickly and aren't hampered by unnecessary roadblocks and obligations."

"The American public will depend on your agency's ability to deliver debt cancellation quickly and efficiently, no matter the effort and resources required," they wrote.

But the limited time frame for borrowers to access relief has some advocates concerned. Kyra Taylor, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, told NBC News that the October rollout "doesn't give people a lot of time," noting that crashed after Biden announced his loan forgiveness.

Scott Buchanan, the executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance — a group that represents federal servicers — previously told Insider that because the relief announcement came right before the payment pause's expiration, it could take "months to operationalize" Biden's announcement. He later wrote in a letter to Cardona that the debt relief "risks operational disruptions."

Still, Biden's administration has not publicly expressed any concerns with the rollout. The White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing last week that the department had already enacted targeted student-loan forgiveness, so it's equipped for a broad scale.

"This is not the first time. We've done this before in this administration," she said. "So there's a precedent here. The Department of Education knows how to work this through. And we're committed to make sure that folks get the information they need."