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The websites of major student loan service providers crashed for several hours after Biden’s forgiveness announcement

August 24, 2022, 7:52 PM UTC
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The Good Brigade

Student loan borrowers have been waiting for months to find out whether their debts would be forgiven by President Joe Biden, who promised relief when he ran for president. 

So when he finally made the announcement today that borrowers could receive up to $20,000 in relief, people rushed to check their own loan balances. But many had a lot of trouble logging on.

The websites of loan servicing companies and a government agency crashed on Wednesday. Nelnet and Great Lakes student loan servicing were down for at least a few hours, as borrowers raced to find out more information on Biden’s relief program. Mohela was also down at one point this afternoon, and the Federal Student Aid website experienced a “high volume of visitors” and went down temporarily, according to an error message.

When asked for comment by Fortune, Nelnet and Great Lakes, which appear to be using the same spokesperson, wrote:

“We regret borrowers are struggling to find information on the Administration’s debt cancellation plan.  Unfortunately, servicers and borrowers are learning about this plan simultaneously through the media. As a result, we don’t have details to share with borrowers who want to know about their eligibility and possible timeline for cancellation when they call-in or visit our website. When we have more information, we look forward to supporting our customers through the process.”

Mohela did not immediately return Fortune’s request for comment. 

President Biden posted an announcement on Twitter on Wednesday that loan relief is coming—including up to $20,000 for those with Pell Grants and $10,000 for all other federal borrowers—he did not immediately detail all of the in and outs of the program, leaving borrowers with more questions than answers.

“This is the first time I’ve ever actually wanted to log in to Nelnet. And I can’t. The irony,” twitter user Wes Crosby wrote. 

Along with announcing the forgiveness plan, Biden also extended the pause on student loan payments, which began in 2020 during the pandemic, through the end of this year, writing that he was delaying it “one final time.”  

Although Biden’s loan forgiveness plan will wipe out the student debt of nearly half of all borrowers, there are still major caveats, and not everyone qualifies. Borrowers who earn over $125,000 are not eligible for the debt cancellation, and it does not apply to other types of loans that a student may have taken out to pay for school that were not technically student loans.

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