Eligible Americans can cancel up to $20,000 in student debt (includes video story)

The Biden administration’s student loan debt relief plan is officially underway. Millions of eligible Americans will be able to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student debt.

According to the recent report by the Education Data Initiative, Florida residents have a combined $100.9 billion in student loan debt. The average borrower has close to $40,000 in debt — and over 45 percent of them are under age 35. As of 2022, FIU’s default rate is just 2 percent, with an average undergraduate borrowing amount at graduation of $18,507.

FIU alum Katelyn Perez says this relief program will allow her to now focus on the next steps in her life.

“I went to school for international business and I pretty much paid my way,” Perez told SFMN. “But when the pandemic hit it got really, really, hard and I had to prioritize whether I was going to pay for my rent or I was going to pay for my school…Having this relief is a little bit better because now I know that I am still able to stay on track.”

In a recent tweet, President Biden says he is “keeping with my campaign promise… to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023.”

“This [money saved] is something that can be geared towards something else like a mortgage, rent, towards food, basic necessities. It really takes a load off of people that do have that cloud over their head, ” said FIU biology major and aspiring medical school student Lillian Latchmin.

The U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $10,000 in federal student debt relief and up to $20,000 in relief for Pell Grant recipients to borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year or $250,000 for couples. This includes the Parent Plus loan program under which millions of families have taken out loans on behalf of their dependent undergraduate students.

Michelle Morris is a senior at Florida International University, pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Digital Media with a concentration in Television Production. Michelle Morris is Haitian American and has a passion for storytelling and video production that make diverse stories come to life. After graduation, Michelle aspires to be a television presenter as well as pursue other areas of television such as screenwriting.