President Joe Biden made good on a campaign promise this week with his announcement of a student loan forgiveness plan that covers as much as $20,000 for individual borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year.
His plan also included one final period of deferment, which means no one owing federal student loans will have to make a payment until the beginning of next year.
The specifics of his relief program are as follows:
- All borrowers earning less than $125,000 annually (or couples earning less than $250,000) qualify for $10,000 in student loan forgiveness.
- Those who received Pell Grants designed to help students with substantial financial needs will be eligible to have $20,000 wiped out.
Although many progressive Democrats wanted to see a more robust plan that erased most, if not all, student loan debt, this was widely seen as a step in the right direction. It could help bolster his sagging approval rating and might even give Democrats a boost in the upcoming midterm election season.
Of course, conservative critics say the plan could exacerbate inflation and many opponents of the plan say it is unfair to Americans who either did not attend college or paid off their own student loans.
Biden defended his decision by asserting: “An entire generation is now saddled with unsustainable debt in exchange for an attempt at least at a college degree. The burden is so heavy that even if you graduate, you may not have access to the middle-class life that the college degree once provided.”