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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Utahns with student debt: this could ease your burden

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024   

Student loan borrowers of all ages in Utah and around the country have an opportunity to maybe have their student loans cancelled or the chance to receive credit towards loan forgiveness, but they've got to act soon. The U.S. Department of Education will be conducting a one-time payment count adjustment this coming summer. It's called Income Driven Repayment, or IDR.

Cora Hume, an attorney with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says borrowers who have non-federally held loans must consolidate them into a direct-consolidation loan with the Department of Education by April 30 to reap the potential benefits.

"Older borrowers are less likely to hold direct loans, which would already benefit from this pay count adjustment and then those that do owe direct loans, they're less likely to participate in this IDR program that caps their monthly payment based on family size and income," Hume explained.

Hume said the program applies to repayment periods from July 1st, 1994, and added that 32% of older borrowers are struggling to pay their bills, which is why she encourages people to call 800-433-3243 or visit StudentAid.gov/loan-consolidation to find out if they're eligible for the adjustment.

The average student loan debt for the almost 30,000 older borrowers in the Beehive State is just over 44,000, according to the Education Data Initiative. Hume said nationally there are 1.3 million older borrowers that are not in the direct loan program, and owe an average of $29,500 in student debt.

"The three loans that must be consolidated to receive this payment count adjustment is the commercially managed Federal Family Education Loan, Health Education Assistance loans and Perkins loans." Hue explained. "Another loan that's sort of a quasi for consolidation are Parent PLUS loans."

The upcoming deadline has the potential to "change lives," Hume added, and suggests taking action sooner rather than later.


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