This post, authored by Claudia Mott, originally appeared on NJMoneyhelp.com
Q. I have a student loan. It was $30,000 and now it is $48,000 with interest. I am not able to pay back at all. I tried, but my small income all goes to my mortgage and bills. What to do? Will President Biden forgive any of these loans?
— In trouble
A. We know that student loans are a burden for millions of Americans.
You have options.
First, the government offers a number of income-based repayment plans, said Claudia Mott, a certified financial planner with Epona Financial Solutions in Basking Ridge.
You can read about them to see if one of the options will be affordable, she said.
Start at studentaid.gov or call (800) 433-3243 to discuss your particular situation and whether you qualify for an income-driven payment plan, she said.
“You could also discuss the concepts of deferment or further forbearance at the same time,” she said. “The government’s COVID forbearance program officially ends on Jan. 21, 2022. At that time, interest rates will revert back to their previous levels and payments will be due as scheduled.”
You asked whether the Biden administration may forgive some loans.
Mott said right now, the administration is enforcing existing rules that relate to those who are disabled, soldiers deployed overseas and those who were defrauded by for-profit schools.
“Almost $10 billion in debt has been erased since the President took office,” Mott said.
There are broader plans being discussed on Capitol Hill for additional loan cancellations that range from $10,000 — the number supported by the president — to $50,000, she said.
But at the moment, there is no clear indication of a timeline for putting this forgiveness into place, if it happens at all.
“Your best course of action would be to work out a payment plan and do your best to stick with it,” Mott said. “If you stop making payments all together and the loans go into default, they will have a serious impact on your credit score and ability to borrow in the future.”
Email your questions to Ask@NJMoneyHelp.com.
This story was originally published on Sept. 22, 2021.
NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.