Student loan forgiveness to benefit 120,000 Montanans

The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 120,400 Montanans qualify for some degree of the student debt forgiveness under a plan announced by President Joe Biden last month.

A substantial number of the those who qualify, 78,600, were Pell Grant recipients, meaning they qualify for the maximum $20,000 in debt forgiveness. Pell Grants are given only to students with exceptional need, most with household incomes of less than $30,000 a year, according to DOE.

Non-Pell recipients earning less than $125,000 a year could receive debt cancellations for up to $10,000. Student loans are the norm at Montana universities and colleges for first-year, full-time students, of which roughly 80% have borrowed money in the past decade. About 61% of Montana university graduates have taken out loans, the average owed is about $27,290 for degree recipients who attended school as state residents.

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“It means more breathing room for millions of families,” said James Kvaal, Department of Education undersecretary, during a Tuesday press call. “It means renters pursuing their dream of homeownership. It means parents who thought they’d be paying student debt for the rest of their lives. can now save up

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