cpz021622CM0917SPRINGFIELD – As an advocate for more affordable higher education, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas is excited that federal student loans are expected to be forgiven for people facing the most economic hardship.

“With rising tuition prices, many students from low and middle income families have no other choice but to borrow if they want to pursue a degree, and are receiving less federal support relative to the cost of education,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “Together, this makes it difficult to make monthly loan payments while also paying their regular bills. I am grateful that President Biden’s plan attempts to mitigate this burden on our hardworking students.”

Last week, President Biden announced his plan to address student debt, which includes cutting monthly payments in half for undergraduate loans, modifying the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to provide credit to borrowers who have worked at a nonprofit, military, or in federal, state, tribal, or local government, and protecting future students by reducing the cost of college.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in loan relief to borrowers with loans held by the department whose individual income is less than $125,000 and who received a Pell Grant.  Nearly every Pell Grant recipient came from a family that made less than $60,000 a year, and Pell Grant recipients typically experience more challenges repaying their debt than other borrowers. Borrowers who meet those income standards but did not receive a Pell Grant in college can receive up to $10,000 in loan relief.

Pacione-Zayas is hopeful that this plan will be transformative for those struggling with student debt, acknowledging this is an issue so many are facing as the cost of higher education continues to rise.

“As someone who is still paying back student loans, I know firsthand the challenges of balancing supporting a family and saving for the future when you have student debt,” Pacione-Zayas said. ““It is a struggle so many of us face. I am thrilled that some relief is on the way, especially for folks with limited access to economic resources.”

For more information and to sign up to be notified for when relief is available, click here.