student loan debt, Student Loans

What Is Next for Student Loans in the Covid Era?

Student loans have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 relief offered through the federal government. The biggest source of relief came in the moratorium on federal student loan repayments issued by the Biden administration and was extended through the end of 2021. However, this moratorium is expected to end January 31, 2022, leaving many student loan borrowers left to wonder what is next.

It is estimated that $1.5 trillion in student loan debt is now owed collectively by U.S. student borrowers. Therefore, these measures have widespread effects for many American consumers.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Biden Administration Cancels Almost $10 Billion in Student Loan Debt. Who Got Relief?

In total, the Department of Education has approved discharging $8.7 billion in student loan debt for more than 450,000 borrowers.

Click here to see if you are eligible.

That amount has included:

  • $7.1 billion for borrowers who were eligible for relief because of “total and permanent disability.”
  • $55.6 million in loan discharges for students who attended three trade schools that officials said misrepresented themselves to students.
  • Another $1 billion for other students defrauded by their schools.

The Biden Administration has cancelled nearly $10 billion in student loan debt since January 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The Department reported they have approved $9.5 billion in student loan discharges since January 2021, affecting approximately 563,000 borrowers.  This has given borrowers the ability to tackle other debts, invest and increase savings.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Biden Administration Cancels Additional $55.6 Million in Student Loan Debt

The Biden Administration canceled an additional $55.6 million in student loans for 1,800 students who were found to be victims of fraud. This additional amount brings the total amount of student loan debt cancelled by the Biden administration to $1.5 trillion. 

Since entering office, President Biden has made it his mission to stand up for the thousands of students who were taken advantage of by for-profit colleges. This most recent effort was focused on students who attended Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty, and the Court Reporting Institute. Previously, the administration had approved loan forgiveness for students who attended ITT Technical Institute, the American Career Institute and Corinthian College. This is the first time the Department of Education has approved loan forgiveness for students attending for-profit schools not including these three.  

student loan debt, Student Loans

Former ITT Tech Students Receive Debt Relief from Biden Administration

The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that 18,000 former ITT Technical Institute students who were found to be defrauded by the shuttered for-profit university will have their federal student loans cancelled in full. This move is a step in the right direction. The for-profit school closed permanently in 2016, leaving tens of thousands of students with massive student loan debt, and no degree.  

More than 30,000 former students petitioned the Department of Education to cancel their debt under the “borrower defense to repayment law.” However, even after being defrauded by ITT Tech, their claims were denied by officials under the Trump administration.  

student loan debt, Student Loans

Debt Cancellation for Disabled Borrowers Reinstated by the Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education announced recently that they will cancel federal student loan debt for borrowers who are no longer able to work due to disabilities. This announcement affects tens of thousands of borrowers currently paying on outstanding federal student loan balances.   

Student loan advocates say that this small step is the first of many to help reform the student lending system, including opening debt forgiveness to groups who are legally entitled to receive it but have not yet received debt forgiveness.  

Bankruptcy Law, COVID-19, Medical Debt, student loan debt

Bankruptcy Reform Bill Proposed that will Discharge Student Loans and Medical Debt

The Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2021 was unveiled by Democratic Senators this week in response to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The bill would make substantial reforms to the current bankruptcy code, making it easier for those struggling with student loan debt and medical debt to discharge the same in bankruptcy.

Currently, the bankruptcy code treats student loan debt differently from other types of consumer debt. Borrowers must show they meet the ‘undue hardship’ requirement in order to discharge their student loan debt in bankruptcy.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Former For-Profit College Operator Settles Bankruptcy Case with Department of Education

A settlement was reached between former for-profit college operator, FCC Holdings Inc., and the U.S. Department of EducationThe $8 million settlement is part of the company’s bankruptcy case and signifies the end of years of legal battles 

FCC Holdings formerly operated 41 for-profit colleges under various names. Before filing for bankruptcy, FCC Holdings sold 14 of their for-profit colleges to another company, International Education Corporation (IEC). IEC still operates 11 of these campuses in Florida and Texas under the name of Florida Career Colleges.

student loan debt, Student Loans

A New Loophole for Certain Kinds of Private Student Loans

Student loan debt has traditionally been extremely difficult to discharge in consumer bankruptcy cases. For those consumers struggling with insurmountable student loan debt, the ability to seek a fresh start through a bankruptcy case has been impossible for this reason. Even if they are able to successfully discharge most of their debts, they still walk away with a significant amount of  student loan debt, including both federal and private student loans. A new loophole could change this fact for borrowers who are struggling to pay their private student loan debts.  

A staggering 45 million American consumers owe a collective $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Over one million borrowers defaulted on their student loan debt annually. The only method available to these borrowers to discharge their loans in bankruptcy is to meet the “undue hardship” test. Unfortunately, courts view this exception very narrowly and not all courts apply the test uniformly.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Half a Million Borrowers Petition President Trump to Have Their Student Loan Debt Cancelled

More than half a million student loan borrowers have signed a petition posted on Change.org, asking that President Trump sign an executive order that would effectively cancel all federally held student loans. This request makes up around 85 percent of all outstanding student loan debt.

The creator of the petition and founder of student loan advocacy group, StudentLoanJustice.org, Alan Collinge, stated he created this petition as he believes this would be the least expensive way, as well as the most effective way, to bring in trillions of dollars into the national economy. During a time of global pandemic, where the economy has taken a hit, he believes this would be the best way to give the economy a boost.

student loan debt

The Hidden Cost of Student Loan Debt

According to a recent report from the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC), student loan debt may lead to additional interest paid on other forms of debt, including credit cards and mortgages. Borrowers may not realize just how much their debt can influence these other payments and may be paying higher prices without even realizing it.

The effects of student loan debt are far-reaching. Approximately 44 million Americans carry a collective $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. Most of these individuals also carry other forms of debt, the most common of these being mortgages and credit card debt. According to this SBPC study, these individuals are also forced to pay up to tens of thousands more in extra costs when purchasing a home or car or even using their credit card.