Who qualifies for Biden’s plan to cancel $10,000 in student debt?

Questions and answers about the White House student loan forgiveness policy

(Emma Kumer/The Washington Post; iStock)

After more than a year of debates, protests, meetings and deliberations, President Biden is fulfilling a campaign promise to cancel some of the federal student debt held by millions of Americans.

Under the plan, borrowers can qualify for up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness, and recipients of Pell Grants are eligible for an additional $10,000 in forgiveness. Only borrowers earning under $125,000 per year based on adjusted gross income — or $250,000 per year, for a married couple filing taxes jointly — qualify. The Biden administration also announced that it is extending the current moratorium on payments until Dec. 31 and implementing a new cap on the maximum monthly payments of undergraduate borrowers, among other changes.

Calculate how much of your student loan debt can be forgiven

Biden announced $10,000 in relief for student loan borrowers making less than $125,000 annually, and an additional $10,000 for Pell Grant recipients. (Video: Michael Cadenhead/The Washington Post)

The White House estimates roughly 43 million federal student loan borrowers are eligible for forgiveness, and about 20 million could have their debt completely wiped out, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on Wednesday. The policy will deliver the single largest discharge of education debt on record.

“This is going to change the lives of a lot of people,” said Mark Huelsman, director of policy and advocacy director of the Hope Center, a higher education think tank. “When we’re talking about full cancellation for 20 million people, this is unprecedented.”

Still, the announcement disappointed some activists who had fought for a more generous policy. And it angered other Democrats and conservatives who say it is fiscally irresponsible and unfair to people who never borrowed, as well as those who have already repaid their student loans.

Biden to cancel up to $10,000 in student loans, $20K for Pell recipients

Here is what you need to know about the cancellation plan.

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