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Biden Announces Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

Biden Announces Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

President Biden has announced his three-part student loan forgiveness plan that aims to provide relief to student loan borrowers, especially those belonging to low and mid-income levels.  

Part I: Student Loan Forgiveness for Eligible Borrowers 

Borrowers with individual incomes less than $125,000, or $250,000 for married couples, are eligible for student loan forgiveness up to $20,000. The Department of Education will cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt to borrowers who received a Pell Grant and had loans held by the Department of Education. Those who did not receive a Pell Grant will receive up to $10,000 in debt cancellation. Since this plan will not benefit high-income households, the Biden administration has extended the pause on loan repayments once more until January 2023.  

Part II: Manageable Loan System for All Borrowers  

The Department of Education proposed a new repayment plan that will replace the current income-driven plan in place. It will prevent low-income borrowers from committing to monthly payments of more than 5% of their discretionary income, a drop from the current 10%. This would lead to an average savings of $1,000 per year for both current and future borrowers.  

In addition, they will expand on the recent improvements to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. More than 175,000 public servants have had $10 billion in student loans canceled and the Department of Education expects these numbers to increase. Public servants include nonprofit workers, military members, and officials working in federal, state, local, or tribe level governments.  

Part III: Reduced Cost of College  

Earlier this year, President Biden approved the largest increase to Pell Grants since 2009, a bill that doubled the size of the maximum Pell Grant to $6,895. In addition to making tuition costs more manageable, the Biden administration has also taken steps to hold colleges accountable for keeping reasonable tuition costs, as well as ensuring students are receiving the value for their investments in higher education.  

Assuming every eligible borrower takes advantage of this plan, it will completely cancel student loans for nearly 20 million borrowers, as well as partially cancel student loan debt for 43 million others.  

Tax Debt Relief for Student Loan Borrowers 

The debt relief in Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan will not be treated as taxable income for the federal income tax purposes. However, borrowers should remain mindful of available tax breaks and filing requirements. If you need tax help, give us a call at 800-536-0734 for a free consultation today.  

An Update on Student Loan Forgiveness

An Update on Student Loan Forgiveness

Student loan debt is still on the rise and new developments regarding repayment and forgiveness have unfolded recently. President Biden will announce his plan for student loan forgiveness and repayment by the end of August 2022.  

Student Loan Payment Pause 

Loan payments are currently paused but are set to begin again on September 1, 2022. Payments have been paused several times since the Cares Act passed in March 2020. However, it seems the pause may be extended again past the August 31st deadline.  

Student Loan Forgiveness 

On the other hand, President Biden may announce a decision on student loan forgiveness. There has been some speculation that Biden plans to cancel $10,000 for more than 40 million federal student borrowers. Included loans are the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), Perkins Loans, Grad PLUS Loans, and Parent PLUS Loans, many of which have not been included in recent loan forgiveness initiatives.  

Limited Waiver 

A limited waiver was instituted in October 2021, allowing borrowers to count payments that were once considered ineligible toward forgiveness. Ineligible payments include late payments, partial payments and payments made under the incorrect payment plan. This one-time exception is due to expire after October 31, 2022. However, President Biden has named an extension of the waiver as another permanent means of loan forgiveness.  

Republican Repayment Plan 

Three Republican members of Congress introduced a new bill that serves as an alternative to President Biden’s potential plan. The plan does not include any major loan cancellation. It seeks to end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program set to begin in July 2023 and the payment pause. The bill also introduces a new Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan that would replace the current income-driven repayment plans. It would also eliminate capitalization of student loan interest. Finally, the bill would limits student loan interest to 10 years, which can save borrowers thousands of dollars.  

Tax Debt Relief for Student Borrowers 

While student loan forgiveness seems attractive to many, nothing is set in stone yet. That said, borrowers should continue to plan for repayment. Additionally, borrowers should remain mindful of available tax breaks and filing requirements. If you need tax help, give us a call at 800-536-0734 for a free consultation today.