It's not enough, not even close. But it's a start.
I don't qualify for any forgiveness, and don't necessarily have a problem paying back what I borrowed, but FFS, at least get rid of the ridiculous interest rates on what I'm paying. Paying back the loans isn't my problem, it's the TOTAL AMOUNT I will have paid after 5% interest compounds over years. It makes me see red.
I spent ten years working hard to pay off my loans, and then a family member kindly stepped in and paid off the rest. Not having that monthly payment was a massive gamechanger for me, and I was immediately furious that I got relief through family and most people don't get that. My sister still has a few thousand in loans after graduating two years ago, and this is a big deal for her and will mean she gets to be debt-free earlier in life. The government ought to wipe out all student loans- two years of suspended payments, to me, proves that there's no economic benefit to demanding people be chained to those loans- but this is a good start that will change a lot of lives.
I think that the changes to Income-Driven Repayment are an even bigger deal (or at least, AS big a deal) as the $10/20k forgiveness, but what I'm puzzled by is that the forgiveness seems to apply to both undergrad and graduate loans, whereas the IDR changes seem to specify that they are ONLY for undergrad loans. Does anyone know what the rationale there is? My only loans are from grad school, but with $10k off the top I'll have a very small amount left to pay, so I'm really not worried about myself here. I *am* really worried about all of the people who got sucked into predatory self-pay Masters programs, though, because I think that's a group that would massively benefit from the changes to IDR but seems to be left out.
(I'm wondering how much of the distinction is based on a sense that grad school is more "optional", and/or a belief that those with grad school experience are likely to be more highly-paid. I don't know the actual numbers here, but I'm guessing someone does! My own experience tells me that people who have grad school loans, especially if they have loans without having been able to finish the degree, are likely to end up in low-paying jobs.)
“My college degree got me a great job but that great job is not enough to get me a house where I live. Not without generational wealth or a partner.” This right here! There are so many moving parts to being a financially stable adult in the U.S. and if even one of them is out of whack, the whole plan collapses.
I don’t have student debt (we were poor enough to get me a full-ride for undergrad) but I’m throwing confetti for all of those who do and feel even the tiniest bit of relief today.
So happy for all the folx who will be helped by this! It is a start - we need so much more! But it is a start.
My 3 kids each have $30k plus in loans (the Federal max) and we were not Pell-eligible, so it doesn’t help them nearly enough - but it’s such a solid start.
Now may I wish for something to help all of us parents with parent-plus loans? Those are the ones no one is keeping track of, which will keep many of us from retiring. We’ve got nearly $100k, which will be $1,000 /month until I’m 73. Yee-haw. How about 0% interest? That would help a ton.
I’m glad my kids went to college and we all sacrificed to make it happen. But it shouldn’t be this hard for a society to invest in their young folk.
Adding my voice to the “yes this is not the end game but it is still a big deal for me” chorus! I have 30k in grad school debt that I have been paying off for 7 years at 6.8% (?!) interest. I kept paying in the early pandemic months partly because I couldn’t get over how incredible it felt to make payments and actually see the loan balance go down. 10k off the balance means that paying off the rest feels so much manageable. My partner and I immediately started talking about when we could pay the rest off and what that would mean for our other dreams, like buying a house and saving for our kid’s education.
I understand the disappointment that it is not more, but I still want to celebrate it as a win and use it as a way to spark our imagination about what is possible in working towards a debt-free world where education is free and plentiful. (As a side note, joining the PSLF facebook group has been a really beautiful experience in seeing so many people help others navigate these systems and also celebrate the hell out of all the incredible forgiveness happening through that program!! The changes to that program have impacted so so many people’s lives. I stayed in the group even though I decided not to pursue the program because it feels good to watch people get their debt forgiven!)
I am crying reading these, and I never even had student loans. (My husband did, for law school, but generational wealth was at work there too and they were never stressful.)
My husband and I have both been out of grad school for over 10 years. The $10,000 forgiveness will leave me owing about $6900 or so--but I only borrowed 13K, so yeah, I’m in full agreement about renegotiating the interest rates. However, he owes over 70K, having been sucked into one of those self-pay for-profit schools someone mentioned above. This won’t really help him. We haven’t made enough on time payments to qualify immediately for PSLF. (He’s an educator and I work in state government). I have 52 payments to go; I think he has 48. Oh well--at least there’s light at the end of the tunnel and we will have these damn things paid off as our kids are entering high school. I hope this helps those who are really in need--especially people of color and those in retirement.
This is such a huge relief. My spouse didn’t finish college- cancer in his parents got in the way. He’s had these loans following him around like a dark cloud without the assistance of a degree in the job market. We might be able to pay them off soon. He might be able to think about finishing without the burden of the past lurking around every corner.
'the biden administration is going to relieve hundreds of billions of student debt and everyone is going to be mad at them'.
When I went to college (2003-2008) I worked full time and took full time credits. I took a year off when I moved across country so I could get in-state tuition after becoming a full time resident, which took a year. My single parent father was not able to contribute any financial support in the way of tuition or cost of living expenses. So I took out loans and worked hard and as much as I possibly could. Part of the reason I moved to a different state was for relationship, and when that fell apart after the first year, I worked three jobs so I could pay my rent, insurance, phone bill, and groceries while still getting to class. Summers and holiday breaks were the best because I could pick up more hours. I look back at that time and I have no idea how I managed all of that work and stress. When I graduated from college in 2008, I continued to work full time and then had a part time job as a farmers market manager, and was doing freelance writing and photography. I essentially filled that time I wasn't at school with more work so I could afford my expenses and the student loan repayment. Having my last bit of student loan debt (under $10,000) forgiven feels so good. It feels like I can breathe just a little easier with near future decisions. It feels like finally catching a break.
I mentioned this on Discord, but I'll note it here too: it will take some sleuthing to figure out what this will do for me. I am disabled and became so within the 3-year grace period after getting my PhD. I have no money with which to make any payments, but disability-based loan forgiveness would immediately saddle me with tax debt: the loan money becomes taxable income, even though it is long gone.
Market logic of course makes this completely reasonable. But it is inhumane to levy taxes on past loans to those without means of generating income.
I knew this before I became fully disabled, but now I cannot *not* be constantly, acutely aware: capitalism simply won't allow non-productive bodies to live without constant reminders of our uselessness to it, whether those reminders take the form of inescapable debt or immovable bureaucracy.
I *am* pleasantly surprised that any student loan forgiveness has come to pass. It cannot stop here though.
I’m excited about the changes. I won’t qualify for the forgiveness but it’s a good thing for many people. I hope they implement it quickly.
I'm just so relieved because at the rate I'm able to make payments, this will wipe out a few years down the road, so maybe I'll actually have paid off my loans before my oldest starts college!
I greatly appreciate all the stories from students . My husband and I represent another angle. We financed our two daughters undergraduate degrees with Parent Plus loans. We both worked in public service. For medical reasons, we both recently retired and our income (never huge) is significantly reduced. The $10,000 forgiveness will apply to the Parent Plus loans, and it means a lot to us. We are exploring whether the other Public Service Loan Forgiveness program currently available applies to us as well.
Best headline I’ve seen. Looking forward to learning what the jubilee’s signature dessert will be.