Feb 22, 2023 - News

Massachusetts borrowers in limbo during student loan standstill

Data: U.S. Department of Education; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Some 380,000 Massachusetts residents are in limbo amid a legal battle to determine whether they can get up to $20,000 in student loan debt forgiveness.

Catch up fast: President Biden announced last August the federal government would forgive some college debt for people making less than $125,000 a year.

  • The program is now paused while the Supreme Court considers a legal challenge from a group of GOP-led states.

By the numbers: 593,600 borrowers in Massachusetts applied or were deemed automatically eligible for forgiveness.

  • 380,200 were approved.

Zoom in: The 7th Congressional District, which includes most of Boston, had the highest number of eligible and approved borrowers. About 75,200 borrowers applied or were deemed eligible, and 49,900 were fully approved.

  • The 5th Congressional District, which includes Arlington, Belmont and Lexington, had the lowest number of eligible and approved borrowers.

The big picture: Nationwide, roughly 26 million people applied or became automatically eligible for forgiveness.

  • About 16.5 million were approved.
  • The vast majority of potential beneficiaries earn under $75,000 a year, writes Axios' Emily Peck.

Of note: The feds offered to forgive up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. Those who didn’t have Pell Grants but otherwise qualified could get up to $10,000 forgiven.

What's next: The Supreme Court plans to hear arguments on Feb. 28, but a decision likely won’t be out until the summer.


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