US president Joe Biden’s “simple,” “easy,” and “fast,” solution to forgive student loans is here.
Yesterday (Oct. 17), StudentAid.gov went live. The website just needs four details: name, Social Security number, date of birth, and contact information. “No forms to upload. No special log-in to remember,” Biden said. “It takes less than five minutes.”
The website is available in English and Spanish, both on phones and computers.
On Aug. 24, Biden outlined a plan to forgive up to a sizable chunk of the student debt for low- to middle-income borrowers, whose livelihoods were further squeezed by the pandemic.
💵 $10,000 will be knocked off student debt for those earning $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples)
💵💵 $20,000 will be knocked off student debt for recipients of the Pell Grant earning less than $125,000 a year. Pell Grant is a federal subsidy given to students who need it to pay for college.
8 million: Applications landed and handled without any glitch when the website was tested over the weekend
10,000: people who contacted the White House via letters and calls to express gratitude
43 million: borrowers eligible to claim the relief
27 million: Pell Grant recipients who’ll be eligible for $20,000 to be shaved off comprise over 60% of all student loan recipients
20 million: for whom the grant would eliminate all remaining student debt
90%: relief dollars will go to people making less than $75,000 annually
5%: eligible recipients who are already senior citizens
Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to get the relief tossed out ahead of the US midterm elections next month.
Six Republican-led states—Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, South Carolina, Kansas and Arkansas—sued the administration on Sept. 29. But it’ll be challenging to identify a plaintiff who lost out because of the loan forgiveness program to make their case. And if covid-19 qualifies as a “national emergency,” Biden’s authority is less likely to be questioned.
For all the noise around the half-a-trillion dollar affair, Biden insists “we’re able to afford this student loan relief.” Especially since, come January, the administration will end the student loan repayment and interest pause it had put in place in the covid-battered economy.
“I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people as they recover from the pandemic, especially not the same Republicans who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut in the last administration—mainly benefitting the wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations—and didn’t pay for a penny of it and racked up a deficit.” —US president Joe Biden
The government anticipates that fraudsters may call borrowers under the pretense of helping with the process for a fee. “Hang up. You never have to pay for any federal help from the Student Loan Program,” Biden says, adding that any such scams should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.