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Namatie Mansaray's picture

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding President Biden’s Student Debt Loan Relief Program and rightly so! On October 17th, President Biden unveiled the online application portal for student loan debt relief and later that week, President Biden visited Delaware University, an Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to deliver remarks about student debt and the significant impact it will have on millions of working and middle class families.   

As an alumni of an HBCU, it was a privilege to join students, educators and White House staff at Delaware State University. These institutions were created to provide quality higher education to Black Americans and a pathway to opportunities for many families in our nation. HBCUs have played a vital role in ensuring Black students and students of all races have access to higher education but for many students of color especially Black and Latino students and families, the increasing cost of pursuing a college education coupled with rising interest rates leaves many borrowers of color saddled with heavy debt. 

That’s why President Biden’s Student Debt Relief plan is so important to borrowers and families across the nation. Millions of students, moms and families have been severely impacted by student loan debt. Many of our daily and long-term decisions are affected by debt; what type of work you do, where you live, if you can buy a home, start a business or even a family. For Black and brown borrowers, student debt can be a heavy load to bear; Black borrowerstypically owe 50% more in student debt than their white counterparts and have student debt higher than their median annual income while nearly 67% of Latino student borrowers have education debt, 33% say they’ve put off marriage and 37% have delayed having children due to their student debt. But there’s hope and it’s in the form of student debt relief; and if you’re among the 40 million people who are eligible to have up to $10,000 in federal student debt relief and up to $20, 000 in relief if you received a Pell Grant, this plan could be life-changing. This is why the announcement and launch  of the student debt relief portal is so important and necessary, because borrowers need relief now! 

Applying for student debt relief is quick and easy and takes about 5 minutes of your time. There are no complicated forms to fill out and you don’t need any additional paperwork or documentation.  To apply for federal student debt loan relief,  go to this website on your cell phone or on your computer, the application is available in both English and Spanish.  Once you submit the form, you’ll receive an email confirmation and that’s it. Along each step of the process, the Department of Education will keep you informed or contact you should they require additional information.  

Not sure if you qualify? Individuals who made less than $125,000 in 2021 or 2020  or families that made less than $250,000 in 2021 or 2020 qualify. If you're still not sure, I encourage you to apply anyway! Over 22 million people have already applied and many borrowers will see all if not, the majority of their loans zeroed out completely-this is a big deal! Nearly 95% of borrowers with federal student loans meet the income requirement for the program and qualify for relief.  

The fight for student debt cancellation is not over but this is an incredible first step; 20 million people could have their federal student loan debt wiped clean! This could be life changing to so many middle class students, moms and families who have felt strained by the student debt crisis. Not only will the student debt relief program immediately help young Black and brown borrowers who have been disproportionately affected by debt but this program is part of a broader plan aimed at reducing payments that millions of borrowers will make in the future.  

This is a good thing, it’s a very good thing and I hope you join me and the millions of other borrowers who have applied!

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