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Biden Student Debt Bailout Won't Require 'Supporting Documents' to Prove Eligibility

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The U.S. Department of Education revealed more information this week about how Americans will be able to secure the supposed "benefit" of President Joe Biden's student debt bailout even though the application for "forgiveness" is still not open and lawsuits challenging the legality of Biden's plan pile up. What is seemingly clear, though, is that the situation is ripe for fraudulent claims to exploit Biden's bailout offering to wipe either $10,000 or $20,000 from student loan accounts and passed on to American taxpayers. 

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According to the Education Department's preview of the application and subsequent tweets from the White House, individuals will only need to provide their name, social security number, date of birth, phone number, and email address — but won't require any "supporting documents" related to their federal student loans nor will those seeking relief need to tie their application to already existing federal student loan identifiers. 

Oddly enough, the White House is seemingly heralding the simplicity and lack of verification checks for the student debt "relief" application in a series of tweets that's sure to pique the interest of ill-intended fraudsters who see a pot of federal dollars up for grabs. Still, the White House and Education Department have not announced when the application will go live this month.

Those seeking to have their student debt balance eased won't need to log in with or enter their Federal Student Aid credentials or provide any loan numbers or upload past records that show whether an individual received Pell grants as part of their federal aid. They also won't have to enter any tax information or upload tax returns proving their income falls into the bracket eligible for loan relief.

Instead, applicants need only self-attest to their eligibility under penalty of perjury and threat of jail time. 

But the only way a fraudster — intentional or accidental — would get caught is if the Biden administration checks each applicant's social security number against their tax filings to confirm eligibility, and then pulls the student's FAFSA requests and federal aid statements to see whether a person received Pell grants — thereby qualifying them for double the loan forgiveness. 

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The Department of Education said that borrowers should expect relief within "a matter of weeks," raising even more questions about what, if any, scrutiny will be given to applicants' eligibility. And, with more than 40 million Americans estimated to be eligible under Biden's student debt bailout, it's clearly unlikely that the Biden administration can verify a majority of applicants' information and approve or deny their request.

And no, it's not just Democrat-doubting skepticism to question the Biden admin's process, the administration has confirmed that they won't be looking at everyone's applications, and they failed to provide any concrete criteria to indicate how many applicants would receive extra scrutiny based on some belief that the borrower made more than the income threshold: 

But there's yet another problem. The Department of Education, as Politico noted, "lacks income information for most borrowers," meaning that most individuals who might apply for loan relief don't have "known characteristics" when it comes to how much they make and therefore whether they're eligible for the program at all. 

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What could go wrong? With the Biden administration — and federal bureaucracy in general — we know all too well how unaccountable federal programs can run amok. 

The Biden administration and Democrats have insisted that the student debt bailout will only help those who "need" it, and pushed back on claims that doctors, lawyers, et al. would receive any of the supposed benefit despite having the means to repay their loans. But with a lack of intent to verify eligibility and rush to get tens of millions of balances reduced in just a few weeks, it's clear that Biden's plan is ripe for fraud that will further punish American taxpayers. 

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