Borrowers weigh in on student loan forgiveness plan

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By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Zhoee’ Williams

Since the Biden-Harris administration announced its plan for student loan forgiveness, everyone with student debt has been on edge to find out how and when they can apply for forgiveness for up to $20,000 of their student loans.

University of Alabama College of Human Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor in Consumer Economics and Financial Literacy Jesse Jurgenson said it’s important that no matter what happens, young adults should be careful and strategic with their borrowing.

“The importance of understanding and being more financially literate when taking out student loans is to understand what kind of agreement we are entering into,” said Jurgenson.

Jurgenson said those payments are going to come due at some point, and it may “influence our ability to take other steps in our lives” such as starting businesses, purchasing a home or even starting a family.

In a survey conducted by CouponBirds, more than 272,000 Alabamians say they follow financial advice from social media influencers.

The social media app TikTok has provided its users with a ton of advice for student loans, credit scores and more. But not all of it is accurate.

One UA junior studying psychology on a pre-dental track said a $10,000 break on her loans would be a huge financial burden lifted off her shoulders.

“Even if it is not a lot, it is something that would help me in the future when I begin to pay back student loans,” said Taniya Sellers.

Although everyone does not agree with what Biden is proposing, this student sure does.

“A lot of people attend college and end up having a ridiculous amount of debt,” said Mariah Thomas.

“It’s been such a long debate about student debt, and we have a president who’s doing something about it. He states that not everyone qualifies which is good…it balances things out in a way,” said Thomas.

She said she thinks the people who are upset about the forgiveness plan, are those who make too much money to have theirs forgiven.

“If people are going to cover our loans through taxes, then it is going towards something great,” Thomas said.

While a $10,000 break on student loans isn’t chump change, it won’t make much of a dent if you owe more than $100,000.

“It is good to keep in mind that for some people who owe a larger amount of student loan debt, the forgiveness program may not completely take away all of the debt that’s owed, so it is important to continue to work with the student loan servicer and set up a repayment plan that works for them and the remaining amount of debt,” Jurgenson said.

The move is opening opportunities for more than recent college grads, too.

“I have taken out student loans and signed five years of my life away to the Navy to pay off my debt because a civilian job wasn’t helping,” said former UA student and current U.S. Navy Sailor Kaila Price.

Price said that after she leaves the Navy, she can head back to school without getting in even more debt.

While anyone who earns less than $125,000 a year is eligible for the $10,000 in loan forgiveness, that money will overwhelmingly help lower-income earners.

“It pushes us forward as a country because there are less people working every day to pay back student loans while also trying to survive and take care of their families without feeling like every penny should be going to a loan taken out 10 years ago,” said Price.

Price said she has no issue with federal tax dollars going toward student loans because it will help ensure people can live better lives.

“Why be mad about our tax dollars going to help thousands of Americans that are struggling, when you don’t even know what they could be using it for instead,” said Price. “It is helping our neighbors, brothers, sisters, and even parents. Everyone deserves a break in my opinion.”

Looking for more information on what you need to do regarding student loan forgiveness? Check everything you need to know right here.

Categories: Local News