Arkansans reacts to student debt relief plan

No matter who you ask, someone is touched in the wake of the president’s student debt relief announcement, though many questions remain unanswered.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A week after President Biden made the big announcement of a student debt relief plan, many questions remain unanswered.

No matter who you ask, everyone has been affected by the Biden administration’s plan to forgive student loan debt in one way or another.

Derrick Davis, a senior at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said he was already preparing for a problem facing millions of Americans.

“I wondered how I could actually repay those loans,” Davis said.

In his announcement last week, President Biden said black students are often more likely to take out larger loans.

For Davis, the challenge of repaying his loans hit home.

Her mother died in her second year of college, but that didn’t stop student loans from adding major stress to her life.

Loans, of course, were an important way for him to help pay for his education.

“If I didn’t have to pay so much or take out so many loans, I would be able to enjoy college more,” he explained.

He racked up nearly $23,000 in student loan debt and said he views the loan forgiveness plan as very good news.

“It takes a lot of stress away,” Davis said.

The question now is what comes next for him and the millions of others looking to find financial help?

The Department of Education recently released new guidance on when borrowers can expect to see relief.

They also added that the federal student loan forgiveness application will be available in October.

Applicants must complete the process by November 15, 2022 in order to obtain relief before payments resume in January 2023.

Borrowers are advised to apply by November 15, 2022, before the payment break expires on December 31, 2022.

Nearly 8 million borrowers could be eligible to automatically receive relief since relevant income data is already available to the US Department of Education.

While the news has been hopeful for many, others like Nate Hopson aren’t entirely on board.

“When I got the official news, I mean, I was definitely jumping up and down. I was ecstatic,” Hopson said. “I really didn’t think it was the right move on a macro level.”

He graduated in 2017 with about $20,000 in student loan debt, but isn’t necessarily convinced that loan forgiveness solves a bigger problem.

“If we really look at it, it’s just the tuition going up more and more,” Hopson explained.

The average cost of a four-year education has nearly tripled to nearly $29,000 per year.

“I understand these people who haven’t gone to college, or who have paid off their student loans and they feel like they’re going to have to carry the burden and pay their taxes for the people who get their relief,” says Hopson.

According to the Department of Education, your best bet is to try to have your application no later than November 15.

Applications will be processed beyond this date, but loans will go into repayment before being canceled if you wait past the deadline.

The final deadline for relief will be December 31, 2023.

If you want to be notified when the application opens, click here:

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