Broken Student Loan System Gets An Overhaul

NBC News is reporting the White House is making new strides regarding the student loan assistance and forgiveness Biden promised during his presidential run. 

“The Education Department plans to help millions of people budge closer to getting their student loan debts wiped out after unveiling a slate of new measures Tuesday intended to fix a federal program for low-income student borrowers. The announcement also includes immediate debt cancellation for at least 40,000 borrowers under a student loan forgiveness program for public servants.

This comes as the White House faces increased pressure to alleviate the nation’s ballooning student debt, worth about $1.75 trillion. The heads of the House and Senate education committees are urging the Education Department to overhaul the ‘broken’ system of income-driven repayment plans, which were first introduced by Congress in the 1990s and allow borrowers to pay back their federal student loans based on their income and family size.

In addition, borrowers enrolled in income-driven repayment are eligible to have their remaining loans canceled if they make the required amount of payments for either 20 or 25 years.” 

Another big change is that those who have loans under forbearance due to inability to pay will now have that period of time counting towards the 20/25 payment year requirement. These are all steps in the right direction, however, we still think canceling the majority (if not all) of student loan debt would lead to a much-needed rise in first time home ownership, economic growth of BIPOC communities as well as the middle-class in general, and closing the astronomical wealth gap in our country that is hindering innovation and progress for our next generation.

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Desiree Martinez

Desiree Martinez

Desiree Martinez is a proud native from South Central Los Angeles and LAUSD alumna. She is a first-generation college graduate from UCLA where she completed her BA in Sociology with a minor in Education Studies. Upon experiencing the lack of representation of students of color in higher education, she developed a passion fighting for social justice in k-12 education. A child’s zip code should not determine their education attainment, yet this is the challenge many students face today. Her experiences in her community propelled her to fight for social justice in educational equity work with Students for Education Reform (SFER). Desiree leads the organizing work for SFER in Los Angeles where she works and trains college students to advocate for better schools in marginalized communities and eliminate the belief gap.

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