San Francisco, CA — The Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program is looking a little messy lately. Recently, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked the administration from discharging student loan debt until the court finishes reviewing the case.
In other words, right now, there’s a pause on student loan forgiveness.
But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still apply. The application is currently open. And the Biden administration advises people to apply by mid November in order to receive relief before the student loan payment pause lifts on Dec. 31, 2022.
If the court decides not to strike down the program, you want to make sure you get the money you qualify for. And under the plan’s current terms, Pell Grant recipients could see up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt canceled.
But with things up in the air, borrowers might be feeling uneasy about the future.
Paying back student loans continues to burden young people, especially while the cost of living rises. As a recent college graduate, Justin Magadia has a lot on his mind. “Just living in general has been getting more expensive,” he said. “Look at the housing market — it's just absurdly expensive … ”
The list of things to worry about is endless, for young adults like Magadia. But his career is currently one of his biggest stressors. Although the job market isn’t that bad right now, it doesn’t mean getting a job is necessarily easy. “I think one of the biggest problems this generation has is finding a job immediately after they graduate,” Magadia said. “Sure, there's a lot of job offerings, [but] which ones are willing to take you?”
And for those who are the first ones in their family to graduate from college, like 22-year-old Henry Tran, student loans only add to the pressure they already carry.
“My parents didn't graduate college,” he said. “So to them, me going to and graduating from college was the biggest thing that they wanted. That was the end goal. So with that in mind, there was nothing that was going to stop them from making sure that I went to college.”
With that expectation set for him, Tran’s parents took out student loans in their own name in order to pay for his education. But he explained that even though his parents are willing to pay for everything, he wants to do anything to help them out too. And the student loan relief program would relieve a lot of burden off of his family.
And any amount of student debt can feel tough to carry. Markel Collins, a graduate from Nevada State College, said the reason he decided to attend a smaller college was to save money. But still, he thinks the cost is just too high.
“College is overpriced,” Collins said. “If we're talking like Ivy League or higher D1 schools, [the cost] makes sense. But for regular, small colleges [like mine], it’s still kind of pricey.”
The student debt relief program could make a significant difference in how much money people owe. And for some, even wipe out their whole balance. For him, this pending cancellation would be a huge help.
“I actually qualify for the Pell Grant,” Collins said. “[I would get] $20,000 removed from my student loan. That’s a big weight lifted off my shoulders. Paying $27,000 versus $7,000 is a big difference.”