by Henry Redman, Wisconsin Examiner
July 19, 2023
More than 12,000 Wisconsinites will see their student debt wiped out under President Joe Biden’s program to help borrowers who have had their loans mismanaged under income-driven repayment plans.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced last week that $39 billion in debt relief would be provided through fixes to the income driven repayment program. The repayment plans are meant to allow people to make payments determined by how much money they make, with promises to wipe out the remaining debt after making 20 years of qualifying payments. Many borrowers have been making payments for 20 years or more, yet were denied debt relief they were eligible for. Other borrowers’ payments went unaccounted for.
The 12,220 borrowers in Wisconsin eligible to have their debt relieved have a total of $576 million in outstanding loans, according to DOE data.
The plan to assist borrowers who have been affected by the mismanagement of the repayment plans was announced after the Biden administration’s nationwide student debt relief plan — which would have provided up to $20,000 of debt relief for some borrowers — was stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court late last month.
“I have long said that college should be a ticket to the middle class — not a burden that weighs down on families for decades,” Biden said in a statement. “Republican lawmakers — who had no problem with the government forgiving millions of dollars of their own business loans — have tried everything they can to stop me from providing relief to hardworking Americans. Some are even objecting to the actions we announced today, which follows through on relief borrowers were promised, but never given, even when they had been making payments for decades. The hypocrisy is stunning, and the disregard for working and middle-class families is outrageous.”
DOE started notifying borrowers of the debt relief last Friday and within 30 days the loans will be forgiven.
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