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Forgiveness Plan Would Remove One-Third of ID Students' Loan Debt

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The total student loan debt in Idaho is $7.4 billion for about 200,000 borrowers. (Burlingham/Adobe Stock)
The total student loan debt in Idaho is $7.4 billion for about 200,000 borrowers. (Burlingham/Adobe Stock)
 By Eric Tegethoff - Producer, Contact
April 30, 2021

BOISE, Idaho - About one in three Idahoans who have federal student-loan debt would see it erased entirely if the Biden administration goes forward with a $10,000 forgiveness plan. That's according to analysis from the website Student Loan Hero.

President Joe Biden is considering eliminating the debt through executive order. Andrew Pentis, a senior writer and certified student loan counselor at Student Loan Hero, said the average monthly loan repayment in Idaho is $274.

"Whether you have more or less than $10,000 worth of student loans left to repay, this dose of forgiveness would be hugely helpful, in either getting rid of your debt or shrinking it considerably," said Pentis. "So certainly, if you're a borrower in Idaho, you'd be rooting for something like this to happen."

The Trump administration paused federal student loan repayments in March 2020 during the pandemic. Biden extended the pause on his first day in office through at least October 1.

Some Democrats want the Biden administration to forgive up $50,000 in student loan debt, but Republicans have pushed back on forgiveness, saying a blank check is not the right answer.

The average student loan debt in Idaho is lower than the national average, but still comes in at more than $32,000 per borrower. Pentis said that debt has ripple effects on other parts of life.

"It might be hard to find room in your budget to be able to afford that along with higher-priority personal financial needs," said Pentis, "such as just covering your basic bills every month and dealing with higher-interest debt, such as on credit cards."

Saturday is National College Decision Day, and groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee will be using the day to highlight the stories of people saddled with student debt.

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