Biden to cancel up to $20K in federal student loan debt

Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Student loan borrowers struggling to make ends meet may have some extra money to spare.

On Aug. 24, President Joe Biden announced his plan to put a dent in the amount Americans owe for federal student loans.

News Leader 9 spoke with two students. One says he feels Biden’s move to eliminate some student debt isn’t fair because he had to pay his loans.

Ashley Hall says she owes more than $100,000 in student loans. Hall is married with only one income and says Biden’s plan to eliminate some debt for student loan borrowers is a significant street relief.

“So making multiple student loan payments for me and my husband right now it would be a huge weight off of our shoulders,” said Hall.

The Department of Education is providing borrowers up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with federal loans and up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness to non-Pell Grant recipients.

Attorney Leslie Tayne says this announcement’s keywords are up to $10,000.

“There will be an application process that application will come out in the next few months and certainly before the end of this new forbearance period. But with that being said just because you don’t have a Pell Grant or you never given a Pell Grant does not mean that you don’t qualify for a forgiveness amount,” said Tayne.

Borrowers can qualify for debt forgiveness based on their income in either the 2020 or 2021 tax year. The debt forgiveness applies to undergraduate, graduate and Parent Plus loans. It does not apply to private loans.

“So many people have moved around, and addresses have changed, it is important to update that information. Furthermore, one other thing that you could do as a student loan borrower at this time is take a look at your budget know what income category you fall into and whether or not you will be receiving part of the forgiveness plan or whether you’re going to need to be prepared to be paying those loans Jan. 1,” said Tayne.

Student loan borrowers in the United States owe nearly $1.75 billion in federal and private student loan debt as of Aug. 2022. President Biden has extended the payment pause on federal student loans for a final time through Dec. 31.