Recently, media outlets across the U.S. have discussed President Biden’s recent college loan relief plan. Now that a federal appeals court has indefinitely paused the program, the general public now has a chance to pause and review just what this administration is offering college students through their plan.
So what is the program actually doing, anyway? Well, the beginning of this idea stems from a separate federal act that grew out of the financial crisis caused by the pandemic. According to studentaid.gov, no one with a federal loan has had to make any payments since Biden took office nearly a year ago. This payment activity pause will extend into January 2023. Individuals with federal loans do not have to do anything to receive this pause, contrary to the proposed process to apply for student debt relief.
The debt relief program is mainly to help ease communities back into the repayment process. It can be a difficult transition from spending no money on student loan repayment to suddenly finding hundreds of dollars going to a payment a person might have forgotten about in the past two chaotic years. The Department of Education will provide citizens with up to $20,000 in debt relief to Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for non-recipients. Although there are other options and requirements for student debt relief, these two specific situations are the only ones applicable to those still attending college. The remaining options are for those who went into the military, work for non-profit organizations, etc.
While the payment pause will last until December 31 of this year, that does not mean a person cannot still apply for student debt relief. Through the Federal Department of Education website, people can access the proper forms and information specific to their situation.
This plan is a promising start for the millions of students, both current and graduated, who struggle to make ends meet in the face of the incredibly overwhelming amount of debt one must put themselves through to obtain a degree.