More than 770,000 student loan borrowers in Colorado have the potential to see up to $10,000 of their student loan debt forgiven under the plan announced by President Joe Biden, according to numbers from the Education Data Initiative.
The plan, announced Wednesday, forgives up to $10,000 for those with U.S. Department of Education loans. That number doubles to $20,000 for borrowers who are eligible for a Pell Grant. The forgiveness plan is for single borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year and families earning less than $250,000. Current borrowers will be eligible for relief based on their parents' income.
According to data from the Education Data Initiative, 774,000 Coloradans owe $28.5 billion in student loans, the number represents roughly 13.4% of the population. That makes for an average of $36,822 of debt per student borrower. Of those with student loans, 15.6%, or approximately 120,700, owe less than $5,000 and should have their student debt eliminated by Biden's plan.
Of the state's borrowers, 22.1% owe from $20,000 to $40,000, while 2.2% owe more than $200,000.
Nationally, Biden’s plan makes 43 million borrowers eligible for some debt forgiveness, with 20 million who could get their debt erased entirely, according to the administration. About 60% of borrowers are recipients of federal Pell Grants, which are reserved for undergraduates with the most significant financial need.
The payment freeze on student loans will be extended one last time, until Dec. 31. The freeze started in 2020 as a way to help people struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been extended several times since. It was set to expire Aug. 31. The pause began in March 2020.