Student Loan Forgiveness: Who Benefits?
Young couple looking over their bills and student loan forgiveness paperwork.

Who really benefits from student loan forgiveness? It’s complicated.

The Department of Education has extended forbearance and suspension of collection activity through January 31, 2021. Additionally, President-elect Biden will likely provide some additional relief. Including the continuation of forbearance, helping those who make less than $25,000, having automatic enrollment in the income-based repayment program, and possibly the cancelation of up to $10,000.

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A student loan forgiveness form with a pen, on a desk.
Student loan debt is disproportionately held by higher-income families

There is much debate over whether canceling student loan debt would actually help families. However, the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances found that student loan debt is disproportionately held by higher-income families, who can likely make the payments.

Results showed that more than half of student debt belonged to the top 40%. Student loan forgiveness would benefit the top decile more than the bottom three combined.

Blacks and Hispanics would also benefit less than what is suggested. Additionally, those who never went to school would not benefit from the forgiveness at all.

Written by Diane Nelson

February 26, 2021

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