WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Americans Celebrate President Biden Delivering on Student Debt Promise
August 25, 2022
Following President Biden’s announcement yesterday that his administration is taking action to provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients – meeting another campaign promise – Americans across the country are sharing how the forgiveness will make a significantly positive impact on their lives.
Here’s a look at what they’re saying…
In Iowa: CBS 2 Iowa: Some Iowa students celebrate student loan forgiveness calling it “a huge relief”
Some Iowa students who qualify for forgiveness say it’s a huge relief.
$10,000, that’s how much many Iowans making less than $125,000 a year will see wiped from their federal student loans. Current students enrolled in colleges could qualify as well.
“This loan forgiveness kinda like makes my entire career kinda worth it. My education career kinda worth it,” says Alyssa Rodriguez, a senior at Iowa State.
She received pell grants to help pay for her schooling but she’s still nearly $20,000 in debt.
Now, under Biden’s new rules, she’ll most likely become debt free.
Rodriguez says,“like I said my background isn’t glorious and there was no financial stability or financial security growing up so this type of forgiveness kinda allows me to have a higher opportunity and higher chance to create financial security.”
“Its going to benefit everybody I think,” says Freddy Koke, a Central College graduate. “One way or another, you know, people are going to have essentially $10,000 extra to spend.”
Koke has payed back roughly $75,000 over the years but still has $24,000 to go. “$10,000 is going to be huge in getting a jumpstart on probably making back some of that money, I guess that I missed out on as far as planning for my retirement or that sort of the thing.”
In New Mexico: Santa Fe New Mexican: New Mexico student loan borrowers say they’re happy for any relief
When Celina Saiz arrived from California to attend the University of New Mexico, she paid out-of-state tuition for a few semesters, which meant a higher loan repayment.
She then had to take out a private loan to afford to live in Lobo Village on the university campus. After graduation, she went to law school in Florida, which required more financial aid. Altogether, her schooling resulted in $170,000 in debt.
Saiz, 27, tried to consolidate her debt, but because she had a mix of federal and private loans, she was unable to. She wants to raise a family but doesn’t believe that’s an option.
“Everyone tells me, ‘You can do it. You can do it,’ ” she said. “But for me, personally, I wouldn’t be able to feel comfortable doing that with as much money as I owe and how much I’m getting paid.”
President Joe Biden’s announcement Wednesday his administration will bring $10,000 in debt cancellation for millions of students and another $10,000 in relief for those with the greatest need will be a tremendous help, Saiz said, if only to trim some of her debt.
“It’s going to be a huge help,” she said. “It’s not a lot, it’s only $10,000, but then again that’s still $10,000 of debt that will go away. Any help I can get would be great because debt really hits you hard.”
Brittney Stocking, who is a part of the Albuquerque Teacher Residency Partnership, said she considers herself lucky; the federal debt cancellation for her could mean the opportunity to put a down payment on a house. Stocking has $25,000 worth of debt from her undergraduate program and expects her master’s program will add $15,000 to the total.
“For my undergrad, [debt cancellation] takes off about half of it,” Stocking said.
In North Carolina: WRAL: Local students share how student loan forgiveness will change their future
“A collective sigh of relief from students at North Carolina Central University finding out a chunk of their student loan debt is erased.”
“That is a big deal to me. Because, first of all, I come from a family of four girls and a brother, and three of my sisters are in school already. So that’s a lot.”
“Junior Ty Faulkner says he has about $15,000 in debt. President Biden’s announcement will help not only him but others in his family still dealing with debt years later.”
In Michigan: 9 and 10 News: Ferris State University React to New Federal Loan Forgiveness Program
Amya Watkins is a sophomore at FSU, and says she has $12,000 of student loans.
“I’ve been paying for college out of pocket,” Watkins said. “I know a lot of people that had to drop out of college because they’ve exceeded loans or they just can’t pay it back. It really gives a lot of people an opportunity to go back to school, continue their education.”
Students… are excited for some type of financial relief.
“I really hope they kind of take a look into it and see how hard it is for middle class even lower class people to actually pay for college,” Watkins said. “College is optional, it’s not mandatory, but for the ones that do want to go, it is extremely hard, just for living on your own or getting gas, gas is high. This really relieves a lot of expenses on everybody else’s part around campus.”
In Texas: The Texas Tribune: Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan could lower debt for more than half of Texas college graduates
A’Naiya Vavis graduated from Texas State University four years ago with $14,000 in student loan debt, and her $180 monthly payment to the federal government meant living paycheck to paycheck on a $38,000-a-year public relations salary in Austin.
When her loan payment plan was paused during the pandemic, it allowed her enough breathing room to afford rising gas and food prices.
But on Wednesday, she found out her education bill is no more after President Joe Biden announced that the federal government will forgive $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers who also received federal Pell Grants.
“I’m very stunned and shocked,” Vavis said Wednesday. “I didn’t expect to not have any student debt until at least my 30s just because of where I live and the high cost of living. Trying to budget for student loans has always been stressful. And now to have that off my plate is a big relief.”