These states' student loan forgiveness plans would work even if Biden's fails

Borrowers waiting for progress on Biden's student loan forgiveness could find some respite in state plans. (iStock)

Some U.S. states are looking to expand their student debt repayment programs that would forgive loans even if the federal plan fails, according to a recent report.  

Most states, except North Dakota, already have some form of student loan exemption, according to a report by The Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Unlike President Biden's more open-ended plans, forgiveness at the state level has typically been tailored to forgive loans for borrowers that work in certain professions, such as doctors, teachers, police officers or farmers.

However, rising tuition and the cost of borrowing, which has made some Americans think twice about college, is driving some states to reconsider their forgiveness plans to include a more significant number of borrowers, the report said.  

Roughly 44 million borrowers owe a collective $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt, according to the Education Data Initiative, an education research group. 

"The same factors driving Biden's plan – namely, the fast-rising cost of higher education and the mountain of debt Americans have accumulated to pay for it – are spurring many states to consider expanding their plans," Pew said in the report. "At least two dozen bills are moving through legislatures this spring."  

If Biden's student loan relief plan goes into effect, private student loans won't qualify for any of its benefits. If you hold private student loans, you could consider refinancing these to a better interest rate to lower your monthly payments. You can visit Credible to compare options from different lenders and choose the one with the best rate for you.

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President Biden's plan hangs in the balance

President Joe Biden's forgiveness plan would cancel up to $10,000 in federal loans per borrower and up to $20,000 per borrower for those who used Pell Grants in college. 

In total, about $441 billion in outstanding student debt stands to be forgiven if the plan moves forward. The U.S. Supreme Court's final ruling on two lawsuits aiming to block forgiveness is expected to be made public sometime in May or June, according to several market reports. 

A ruling against the Biden plan isn't likely to hamper support for forgiveness plans on a state level because they aren't as open-ended or as costly as the federal plan and are generally capped at a certain amount, according to Adam Minsky, a Boston lawyer told Pew. 

"I think there's been a lot of pressure, over the past five or 10 years, for states to step in due to the weight of student debt," Minsky said. "If the [Supreme] Court strikes down [Biden's] initiative, it would add pressure for states to step in."

If you have private student loans, refinancing at a lower interest rate could help you reduce your monthly payments and repay your loans faster. Credible can help you find your personalized interest rate without affecting your credit score.

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These states plan to allocate more spending on student loan forgiveness

Most states that have plans in place cap spending on student loan forgiveness unlike Biden's plan, which promises to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loans or up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients for all borrowers. 

These are three states with plans to expand their budget on student loan forgiveness, according to the report:


Georgia's plan to repay loans for borrowers that become law enforcement officers would allocate $3.2 million of state money to fund loan repayment for up to 800 officers, up to $20,000 per officer, in exchange for five years of service in a law enforcement role in Georgia, according to the Pew report. 

The plan would be open on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of what major the officers’ degree is in. the state is currently seeing a shortage of law enforcement officers.

Georgia is also looking to forgive college loans for certain nursing faculty, medical examiners and General Assembly staff members. 

New York

New York is seeking to increase the amount of student loan reimbursement to as much as $8,000 a year from $3,400 per year for attorneys serving the indigent.


Maryland introduced a bill to allocate $2 million to veterinarians with at least $40,000 in student loans from veterinary school up to $20,000 per year for up to five years. Maryland currently needs more vets, the report said. 

If you're having trouble making your private student loan payments, you could consider refinancing to a lower interest rate. You can visit Credible to speak with a student loan expert and get your questions answered.

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