- The Department of Education opened public comments on its proposals to reform student loan repayments.
- Over a thousand people flooded the section with identical comments against debt relief.
- The ministry hopes to implement the reforms to earnings-related repayment plans later this year.
President Joe Biden’s Department of Education gave the public a chance to comment on his plans to reform the student loan repayment system — and they did.
After earlier this month the ministry announced its proposals to reform income-based repayment (IDR) schedules for student loan borrowers, it opened a public comment section on the federal register that will be available for 30 days, where anyone can comment on the proposals and what they would like to see implemented by the department.
While some people went to the public forum to raise critical concerns about the student loan industry as it exists today, such as: B. Fighting to keep track of monthly payments due to rising interest rates, nearly 2,000 commenters, in what appeared to be a coordinated campaign, filed the exact same comment opposing Biden’s student debt relief plans.
The comment begins: “My name is [NAME] and I am writing to oppose this student debt ‘cancellation’ ordinance.”
“This regulation is extremely reckless as it is economically unstable, grossly unfair, grossly illegal and would only exacerbate the problem it purports to solve,” it said. “This ‘cancellation’ of student debt is fundamentally unfair to those who chose not to go to college because of the cost, to those who worked through college to avoid debt, and to those looking to manage their debt paid back as promised.”
Another version of the comment specifically mentions IDR plans, saying it is “essentially a big debt relief plan. It will fuel inflation, punish responsible Americans, and encourage colleges and universities to keep raising their tuition. It’s a vicious circle. It’s going to be harder for the next generation to afford college.”
Both versions of the comment demanded that a debt relief proposal should never go into effect.
While the Department of Education has invited comments from the public, it has remained adamant that it hopes to implement these reforms this year and is unlikely to react or be swayed by those who commented at the forum will oppose the initiatives of the Ministry.
As announced in early January, the proposed changes to IDR include that borrowers can pay no more than 5% of their discretionary income monthly on their student student loan, less than the current 10%, and that they pay a person $0 per month offer borrowers making less than $30,600 annually and each borrower in a family of four making less than $62,400.
The department estimates these changes will allow future borrowers to reduce their total dollar payments by 40% and help 80% of community college students be debt-free in ten years.
In addition to plans to implement IDR reforms, the department also hopes that Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for federal borrowers will go into effect this year. The plan is currently on hold due to two Conservative-backed lawsuits that have blocked relief, and the Supreme Court is taking both cases next month to decide whether Biden’s plan is legal and can reach millions of borrowers.
Republican lawmakers have long reiterated similar points to the anti-relief comments. GOP Rep. Bob Good last week reintroduced legislation that would prohibit Education Secretary Miguel Cardona from forgiving student debt as part of pandemic relief, saying in a statement that it “is not fair to those who have chosen to to waive their loans or repay them responsibly and on time.”
But as Cardona wrote On Twitter on Monday, the administration “welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case of our student debt relief plan. @POTUS & I will continue to fight against efforts by Republican officials and special interests to deny middle-class families the assistance they need and deserve.