Potential student loan forgiveness impact on Kentuckians

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Posted at 8:56 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 20:56:32-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — If President Biden goes forward with a plan that would cancel $10,000 in federal student loans for anyone making $125,000 or less, as he is expected to do Wednesday, the student loan debt for more than 200,000 Kentuckians would be instantly wiped away, according to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.

Overall, 616,000 people in Kentucky have student debt according to the center’s research director Ashley Spalding. It delays people from starting families, prevents them from supporting disabled or elderly family members, and, in many cases, forces them to default.

“Student loan debt is truly a crisis in Kentucky and we know that these individual borrowers are very much struggling... we know default rates were high before the loan pause,” Spalding says.

At the University of Kentucky, Freshman students on their second day of classes said they are already thinking about the debt they expect to be paying off for years to come.

“I think about it all the time; I know that I’ll be in debt for the rest of my life,” says Presley Hunt, a UK student who said she worries about the issue because she does not come from a high-income family.

Alleviating the issues, Spalding says, requires canceling large amounts of student loan debt.

Sources tell NBC News that President Biden will announce his plan Wednesday.

It’s welcome news to Hunt and other UK students LEX 18 spoke with.

“It just gives you more freedom to live your life if you don't have that weighing down," says Hunt.