Here’s what Vice President Kamala Harris could mean for your student loans.
Here is what you need to know.
For the past year, student loan borrowers have been wondering where President Joe Biden stands on student loan cancellation. They asked questions like:
While congressional leaders have focused on pressuring Biden to enact a full-scale student loan forgiveness, there is another principal who also has important views on student loans. Harris, a former US Senator (D-CA) and presidential candidate, has proposed several reforms to student loans and higher education. Let’s explore. (What Biden’s Latest Student Loan Relief Means for Your Student Loans).
Student loans: student loan cancellation up to $ 20,000
Is Cancellation of Student Debt the Next Step? As a presidential candidate, Harris proposed to write off up to $ 20,000 in student loan debt. Under Harris’ plan, canceling the student loan would not be accessible to everyone. Rather, Harris has sought to make the student loan waiver accessible to certain borrowers. For example, borrowers who have received Pell Grants, which are available to low-income students to help pay for their education, could receive a discount on their student loan if they started and ran a business for at least three years in a disadvantaged community. The aim was to help stimulate the economy in disadvantaged opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship and cancel student loans. (Biden extended student loan relief, but advocates really want student loan cancellation).
Student loan cancellation: not for everyone
As a moderate US senator and presidential candidate, Harris has not supported canceling all student loans. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has proposed the cancellation of all $ 1.7 trillion in student loans, including all private and federal student loan debt. That said, Harris, like Biden, supports up to $ 10,000 for student loan debt cancellation. (Student loan borrowers will receive $ 15 billion in student loan cancellations). As vice president, Harris said the student loan crisis “is real” and recognizes the need for solutions. Likewise, while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have proposed a student loan waiver of up to $ 50,000, they too do not support l total cancellation of student loans. As part of their plan, Schumer and Warren would limit student loan cancellation only to federal student loans and borrowers earning up to $ 125,000 a year. (Here’s who qualifies for the student loan waiver right now).
Student loans: Harris supports college tuition-free
One way Harris has proposed to ease the burden on student loans is to make two-year college education free. Specifically, Harris argued:
- college tuition-free at two- and four-year public colleges and universities for borrowers who earn up to $ 125,000 in annual income; and
- doubling the maximum amount of the Pell grant.
Sanders and Warren have both defended the tuition-free university in the US Senate and during the presidential campaign. Like the large-scale cancellation of student loans, Congress has yet to pass the college tuition-free. (If you’re waiting for your student loan to be forgiven, do so).
Harris would also cancel student loans for these student loan borrowers
Harris, like Biden, has advocated for student loan debt cancellation for student loan borrowers at historically black colleges and universities (HCBU) and institutions serving minorities (MSI). “Regarding the history of HBCUs, [students] decide to take on a profession of service, which often doesn’t pay as well as if they went into the private sector and did other things, ”Harris noted. “So for the students who come out and have jobs that earn less than $ 125,000, the student loan debt will be forgiven as well. “
Over the coming months and year, Harris, along with Biden, could play a key role in shaping the future of student loans, student loan cancellation and student loan relief. The most recent extension of student loan relief for 90 days is one example. However, student loan relief will not last forever. It is also possible that Congress will not pass legislation reforming student loans. Until then, make sure you understand your student loan repayment options.
Here are some popular ways to pay off student loans faster: