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Metro Detroiters respond to student debt relief announcement

student loans
Posted at 3:51 PM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 18:15:43-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The major development from the White House involving student loan forgiveness is already getting strong responses from people on both sides around metro Detroit. They say student loan forgiveness will impact countless students and graduates facing debt. But, there remains strong feelings on both sides.

To find out if you're eligible for student loan forgiveness, click here.

We asked a recent Wayne State University graduate: “How long has it been since you graduated and how much debt did you have?”

“Just this June. A couple months ago. Walked across the stage, and a total of about $20,000,” says single mother Briana Hayden.

Since Briana earns less than $125,000 a year, she’s eligible to receive $10,000 of forgiveness. The amount is also given to dual income households making less than $250,000.

“I worked full time in school, 40 hours a week. Nutrition and food science, minor in public health, while raising a 3-year-old,” says Hayden who says loan forgiveness will put more money on the table for her child’s expenses.

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the new program. “This is a program that’s popular with those getting debt forgiveness and unpopular with those who aren’t going to get anything,” says Michael Greiner, economics expert, professor at Oakland University.

Estimates from the Penn Wharton budget model say this could cost the government $300 billion or more and the committee responsible for the federal budget says it does not address the root cause of a problem involving college affordability.

“It’s almost the exact amount of money that was supposedly going to be directed by the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the federal deficit,” says Professor Greiner.

Those who also received Pell Grants could be able to have as much as $20,000 in reimbursement as well.

“The people being overlooked are working class. They didn’t go to college. They may start a business. Buy a truck. Take a loan. They get nothing,” says Republican State Senator Jim Runestad.

That said, Briana tells us she’s grateful the President made this happen.

“I just bought my house a year ago. Taking my money initially for higher payments and keeping that money and put it into my home,” says Hayden.

Critics still insist only helping some people doesn’t apply relief equally.