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Local students react to federal student loan forgiveness

Prospective students touring University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Posted at 6:23 PM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 19:23:52-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — President Biden announced a student loan forgiveness plan Wednesday that could cancel up to $20,000 in debt for borrowers.

Individuals making under $125,000 per year, or couples who jointly file taxes making under $250,000 per year, can have $10,000 of debt forgiven. For Pell Grant recipients, the government will forgive $20,000.

While some borrowers are excited about the relief, others feel it is unfair to people without debt or borrowers who have already paid off their student loans.

At the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, debt is at the top of mind for many students, who are already worried about how they will pay it off after graduation.

Junior Taylor Swanson said she competes in pageants to pay for school and reduce her debt.

"That's the huge thing on my mind," Swanson said. "Like, I'm constantly I really organized like the activities I'm in, in order to pay for college."

Some students believe their experience with debt informs their opinions on the issue.

"It's pretty much expected nowadays to get a degree," junior Kailey Freund said. "I think that forgiving that debt is something that's going to make it a lot easier on, like, recent graduates."

But other students with debt don't necessarily agree, like senior Jimmy Duval, who thinks debt forgiveness could be unfair to taxpayers without debt.

"They were smart with their money, or they did not take out loans. So why are they paying for us who did?" Duval said.

The U.S. Department of Education said it will launch an application before the end of the year, where borrowers can put in their income and request loan forgiveness. Only federal loans are eligible for cancellation, not private loans.

After some debt is forgiven, borrowers with remaining debt will have their monthly payments adjusted accordingly, which will resume in January.

Interested borrowers can sign up for updates on the U.S. Department of Education's website.