Student Loan Forgiveness: How many Arizonans could be affected

Now the student debt relief plan has been announced, Arizona's Family goes over what those who student loans need to know.
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 3:04 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The student loan forgiveness measures announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden could mean the elimination of college loan debt for thousands of Arizonans. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, 884,400 Arizonans have debt from federal student loans totaling $31.6 billion.

The announcement by the Biden Administration forgives federal student loan debt of up to $10,000 and an additional $10,000 if the borrower received Pell Grants. The forgiveness applies to those earning less than $125,000, or $250,000 for married couples.

Some economists say the debt, likely hundreds of billions of dollars, could be shifted to taxpayers.

Looking closer at Arizonans’ student loan debt, figures from the U.S. Department of Education show borrowers who owe $10,000 or less in student loans make up 33% of all borrowers in the state. However, it is not known the income level to see if all 33 percent would be eligible for the upcoming forgiveness.

Nationally, the U.S. Department of Education says 87 percent of the debt cancellation will be going to borrowers who make less than $75,000 a year.

Arizona’s student loan debt is on par with the national average and the rest of the country, according to an analysis by the Education Data Initiative.

The average student loan debt in Arizona is $35,396. Forty-seven percent of the state’s borrowers of federal financial aid are under the age of 35.

To learn more about the forgiveness measures announced, click here.