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Student Loan Forgiveness: Joe Biden’s Debt Plan Today



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The forgiveness of student loan debt may be underway.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The amount of student loans in the US is about $ 1.7 trillion, right behind residential mortgages in the debt of the consumer. Will President Joe Biden forgive $ 10,000 in student loans? Several members of Congress are urging Biden to forgive $ 50,000 per student. “America is facing a student loan time bomb,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said at a Senate hearing on April 13. The explosion, she said, “could throw millions of families over a financial cliff.”

Amenities such as a third stimulus check (and “plus-up payments“), more money for that unemployed workers, thousands of dollars more for families with the new child discount and changes to savings on health care were included in the American rescue plan. These have been added to help people struggling financially as a result of the pandemic – but one group not covered in the aid package are students in debt.

The president has not yet forgiven any debt across the board, although $ 1 billion in student loans defrauded by for-profit institutions have been canceled. Here is where the situation now stands when it comes to student loan forgiveness; we will continue to update this story as it develops. You could also get up $ 50,000 back with one-time COVID credits. Click here for more information about the new child discount who qualifies and how calculate your total.

What’s up with the federal student loan debt?

During his presidential campaign, Biden called for the cancellation of $ 10,000 in federal student loan debt per person. He also imposed additional plans for students in the Biden Plan for Education Beyond High School, such as free tuition and more money for federal scholarships.

Shortly after taking office, Biden signed an executive order to extend the pause on student loan payments and interest until the end of September. Former President Donald Trump initially suspended payments at the start of the corona pandemic, and the suspension of the loan was extended two more times.

In Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a provision removed any tax penalty if student loans are forgiven. The IRS treats debts forgiven for less than what is owed as taxable income. This would apply to both government loans and private loans. The forgiveness provision will run until December 25, 2025. As president, Biden has yet to formally waive additional student loans.

It is important to keep in mind that there is no movement in loan forgiveness yet as there are more and more scam artists who claim they can help you with student loan forgiveness.

Does Biden have the authority to forgive $ 50,000 in loan debt per student?

At a CNN town hall in February, an audience member asked if Biden would forgive $ 50,000 in student loans.

“I’m willing to write off a debt of $ 10,000, but not $ 50,000,” said Biden. ‘Because I don’t think I have the authority to do it by signing [with] the pen.”

It seems the president has changed his mind. On April 1, he asked Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona if it is within the power of the president to forgive $ 50,000 in student loans. The department has not yet published its findings.

What changes could happen this year?

Depending on the response of the education secretary, a number of things can happen. Biden may be able to sign an executive order that cancels one debt per student. Or it could be that Congress would have to pass a bill if sweeping cancellations are beyond Biden’s control. In either case, the amount ultimately canceled and any rules and exceptions regarding public and private debt would be controversial areas of negotiation.

Whatever the outcome, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon, although it is a topic that we are closely watching.

Also read: All the extra incentives control money that parents and the elderly could get in their third payment

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Money Stuck in Student Loans? There are a few things you can do now.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Are there currently options for forgiveness of loans? What are they?

Yes, but they are not that widely available – or quickly received.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a government program designed to forgive federal direct student loans if the borrower has a job with the government or a nonprofit, after 120 qualifying timely payments in an income-driven repayment plan. This means that the government must forgive the balance after 10 years of payments. However, many borrowers who think they are eligible for forgiveness have trouble getting approval.

In 2019, there were more than 41,000 PSLF applications – and 206 were approved by the Ministry of Education. Many were denied due to errors, but a 2020 report from the nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center found that the Department of Employers’ Office of Federal Student Aid had misreported, making applicants ineligible. Since the start of the PSLF in 2007, 98.8% of applications have not been approved, according to the center.

Borrowers who have taken out loans to become teachers can partially forgive their Perkins, Stafford, or Direct loans. The amount varies depending on the subjects they teach, which schools they teach and how long they’ve been teaching.

And finally, borrowers who have an income-driven repayment plan – where monthly payments amount to no more than 10% of a person’s discretionary income – can have their remaining loan balance forgiven after 20 years for undergraduates, or 25 years for graduate students.

For more information visit CNET’s resource guide to loans for all things.




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