President Biden Proposes Historic Plan to Forgive Student Loans

Percy Bartelt, staff writer

President Joe Biden announced that a portion of U.S citizens’ student loans would be forgiven, which will be considered a historic feat should his plan come to fruition. This achievement still has faced pushbacks, questions and doubts coming from all political stances. 

According to Biden’s plan, most federal student loans will be eligible for forgiveness. One of the most common questions being asked is “Do my loans qualify?” According to CNBC, a vast majority of loans will, as most loans are managed by the same programs under the federal government, such as William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program and Federal Family Education Loan. Student loan borrowers can receive up to $10,000 if they did not receive a Pell Grant. If borrowers did receive a Pell Grant, they will receive up to $20,000, due to the nature of the grant being directed toward low-income students. “Borrowers who earn more than $125,000 per year, or married couples […] earning over $250,000 are excluded from the relief,” reports CNBC. 

Parent Plus Loans and graduate loans are also eligible for forgiveness. Biden explains that this intends to help both graduates and future graduates from multiple levels of postsecondary education avoid the burden of inescapable debt. Biden adds how the pandemic has only made things significantly worse, according to a report written by ABC News. Biden explained how difficult student loans are to handle compared to decades before, and in recent years, graduates pursuing their career can hardly achieve a “middle-class life.”

The announcement of student loan forgiveness compelled half of the U.S. Governors to write to President Biden, asking him to withdraw his plan. They wrote, “As governors, we support making higher education more affordable and accessible for students in our states, but we fundamentally oppose your plan to force American taxpayers to pay off the student loan debt of an elite few…” as reported in NPR News. This is just one of many concerns some people had when the plan was proposed in August. Others are questioning the fairness in canceling these debts when others had already paid theirs off, as well as the estimated increase in citizen’s taxes to pay these debts off. According to the National Taxpayers Union, a conservative advocacy group, U.S. taxpayers will see an increase of about $2,500 to aid this cancellation; the amount is also dependent on a household’s income level. 

Regardless of the controversy, President Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt is a historic move that previously had only been speculation or discussion. Applications for the Biden-Harris Student Debt Relief plan will open in October of this year and will close December 31, 2023. To find more information about your own student loans, your eligibility, and other details, go to studentaid.gov and enter your FSA ID and information for a full report of your case.