January 13, 2024
The Biden administration has been disappointed that more people are not taking advantage of its income-driven repayment plan for student loan debt. It seems the biggest obstacle is that many borrowers simply don’t know about the plan. It turns out the people who don’t know about the plan includes people who write pieces on the burden of student debt for the New York Times.
A lengthy article on how the burden of student loan debt is leading many young people to reconsider the decision to go to college, did not once mention Biden’s income-driven repayment plan. By ignoring the existence of this plan, for which most borrowers would qualify, it hugely overstates the burden that students can expect to face.
The piece told readers that the author’s child had been mistaken in their belief that, “even with a minimum wage job, they could pay off their debt and continue to support themself with jobs that didn’t require a degree.”
In fact, under Biden’s income-driven repayment plan, a single person working at a minimum wage job would pay zero towards their student loans. For debt of less than $12,000, if they remained in the program for ten years, the debt would be forgiven. Students who borrowed larger amounts may have to wait up to twenty years for forgiveness, but the terms of the annual payments do not change.
It is worth noting that this is a program put in place by executive order. It is possible that Donald Trump would alter or eliminate it if he got a second term. Since this affects the lives of millions of people, it might be useful if the NYT could find a person who can use a government website to write about student loan debt.