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That does not mean you have been awarded and are finished. The process is as follows:. Important information for students who use federal Stafford loans to finance their education:.
Cisco College will begin processing loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program beginning with the Fall school year. This program will replace the current Federal Stafford Student Loan program. Participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program will allow our current and future students with more assurance that funding will be available for federal education loans. Here are some of the benefits that Cisco students will receive from this change:. All students must complete a new Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note for the current school year along with a loan request form for Cisco College.
Loan request forms may be found on the Cisco College web site under Financial Aid. The student must be making satisfactory progress and enrolled in at least 6 hours. Table 4 shows the share of borrowers in a given year who ever received a Pell Grant, reported separately for graduate and undergraduate borrowers. These figures suggest that a conservative estimate of loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients should be somewhere around half the cost of forgiveness for the full population. Estimated effects: The exact number of students helped is not completely clear, but a look at the number of Pell recipients each year and their borrowing rate suggests it would be millions of students.
The number of annual Pell recipients has gone from about 5. And about 55 to 60 percent of these students borrow. Yes—Pell recipients are disproportionately concentrated among borrowers with student loan struggles. Nearly 90 percent of students who defaulted on a loan within 12 years of starting college received a Pell Grant. Substantial shares of undergraduate borrowers of color also received Pell Grants, meaning they would be in line for forgiveness.
For example, 78 percent of black or African American borrowers in the academic year received a Pell Grant, as did 71 percent of Hispanic or Latino borrowers, 61 percent of Asian borrowers, and 78 percent of American Indian or Alaska natives who borrowed. Operationally, the process should be straightforward as long as records still exist that a student received a Pell Grant.
There might be some confusion for borrowers who incorrectly think that they are eligible. Though this policy would not affect every borrower, as discussed above, a significant share of student loan holders received a Pell Grant at some point. Yes, former Pell recipients would no longer have to repay their loans. Students who were lower income while they were in college would benefit greatly from this policy.
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This is an easy way to target relief in a way that uses income to address equity issues. Forgiving debt only held by former Pell Grant recipients can create a cliff effect where individuals who just missed the award get no relief. This could include those who might have received a Pell Grant had the maximum award been higher during the years they were enrolled in college.
In addition, income alone does not capture generational wealth disparities that may still be present, meaning that there may be individuals who did not qualify for Pell who would otherwise fall in the group of people this policy wants to serve.
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Finally, some analysts have pointed out that using Pell is not a perfect proxy for income, because it may miss some low-income students and captures some middle-income individuals. Twelve years ago, Congress created the income-based repayment plan as its answer to unaffordable student loans. The exact terms vary, but the basic idea is to connect monthly payments to how much money borrowers earn and provide forgiveness after some set period of time in repayment.
Part of this is due to the complex and clunky program structure.
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Borrowers must fill out paperwork to get on the plan and then reapply each year. Failure to do so can kick them off the plan, leading to capitalized interest, delayed forgiveness, and a larger balance. While borrowers can lower their monthly payments on IDR, even paying nothing each month if they are earning little to no income, interest continues to accrue. The result is that borrowers can feel like they are trapped with their loans and with a balance that keeps growing even as they make payments—the only way out being forgiveness that is potentially two decades down the line.
This option would make IDR more attractive by changing the terms so that borrowers no longer have any interest accumulate on their debt. Borrowers would make a monthly payment equal to 10 percent of their discretionary income, even if that would result in repayment taking longer than the year standard repayment plan.
Borrowers with no discretionary income would not have to make monthly payments, just as in the past. Undergraduate debts would be forgiven after 15 years, while graduate borrowers would have to wait five years longer—20 years. Forgiving all interest would be an expansion of some benefits that currently exist. For instance, the federal government covers all unpaid interest on subsidized Stafford loans for the first three years of repayment on most IDR plans.
This includes interest on subsidized loans beyond the three-year period. Estimated cost: Unfortunately, there are not enough available data to get a sense of the overall cost of this proposal. Costing out the option would require at least knowing more information about the distribution of borrowers using IDR in terms of their income and debts. Currently, the Education Department only provides information on the distribution of debt balances in IDR.
Without better data, it is not possible to know what share of borrowers on IDR make payments below the rate at which interest accumulates and would benefit from a greater subsidy. Moreover, the costs of this change are also affected by the amount of subsidized loans a borrower has, because those carry different interest accumulation rules. The net result is that there is no clean way to get an accurate cost estimate. Estimated effects: There are currently about 7. Available data are insufficient to fully answer this question, because there is no information on the usage of IDR by the groups described in the equity goal section.
However, the answer at least partly depends on what is done to make the plans more attractive for lower-balance borrowers; that group includes nearly half of Hispanic or Latino borrowers as well as large numbers of individuals who have debt but did not finish college and are at significant risk of defaulting. Meanwhile, current IDR plans might be beneficial for black or African American borrowers on paper just by looking at where they are disproportionately represented on an analysis of debt levels.
But that presumes payments viewed as affordable through the formula are actually feasible. Table 5 illustrates the challenge of making IDR work for borrowers who have a low balance and a low income by showing their repayment plan options.
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Under the current options for these borrowers, the graduated plan combines the most initial monthly payment relief with the shortest repayment term. Of the four IDR plans, these borrowers are not eligible for one because of their debt and income levels; two plans offer a monthly payment amount that is just a dollar less than the standard plan; and one has the same initial monthly payment as the graduated plan but has them in repayment for almost 20 years.
Even if the borrower had a lower income, and therefore a lower monthly IDR payment, the plans would not provide a great deal. Forgiving the interest on IDR plans will make the option more attractive, but the requirement of having to wait as long as 20 years to retire a debt that came from a semester or two of school is not going to be an easy sell. This solution also still has technical and gatekeeping issues, as borrowers need to opt in to use IDR plans.
It would be very simple for borrowers who are on IDR. But the paperwork complications of applying for and staying on IDR plans remain a challenge that needs to be addressed.
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How broad is the impact? About one-fourth of borrowers in repayment currently use an IDR plan, thus the effect will be somewhat limited unless changes result in increased usage of these plans.
Psychologically, yes—borrowers would still be making the same monthly payment, but they would not feel like they are digging themselves into a deeper hole. Borrowers encouraged to enroll in IDR as part of this change would likely see monthly payment relief. The biggest winners are individuals who make payments through IDR but who are not paying down their interest each month.
Within that group, the amount of relief will be greater for those with larger debt balances, higher interest rates, or both. This solution makes IDR a more viable and attractive long-term plan. It may still not be enough to help borrowers with very low balances or who are likely to default, because they still need to navigate the paperwork challenges to sign up for IDR, or the timeline to pay down the debt will still be viewed as too long relative to the amount of time it took to incur the debt.
It also presumes 10 percent of discretionary income is affordable, or percent of the poverty level is a large enough income exemption. How could this idea be more targeted? Capping the maximum dollar amount of interest that can be forgiven each year would better target the benefits of the option, because it would provide less relief for borrowers with larger loan balances.
IDR plans guarantee that borrowers have an eventual way out of debt by forgiving any balances remaining after a set number of years. While this is a crucial benefit, taking as long as 20 years or 25 years, depending on the plan, to get forgiveness can make the promise feel abstract and like something that might not happen.
This proposal would change forgiveness terms to provide interim principal relief for borrowers. The idea is that borrowers would not be in an all-or-nothing situation where they must wait so long to get relief. Costing it would require at least knowing more information about the distribution of borrowers using IDR in terms of their income and debts, as well as how long they have been on IDR. Looking at the number of borrowers on all IDR plans might provide one way to ballpark the possible cost.
For example, by the end of the , 5. This assumes that the two-year clock for forgiveness would only start going forward.
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Estimated effects: For most borrowers on IDR, small forgiveness would be helpful but not transformative. The more likely effect is that interim forgiveness could make IDR more attractive for lower-balance borrowers who may be discouraged from using it today, because waiting up to 20 years for forgiveness on small amounts of debt may not seem worth it.
There are not enough data to definitively answer this question. However, an interim relief system, if paired with other reforms to accumulating interest on IDR, would make this repayment option much more effective for lower-balance borrowers. This is particularly important for targeting help to individuals who did not finish college or Hispanic or Latino borrowers.
Low-balance borrowers currently do not have much incentive to use IDR, because waiting two decades for unloading debt accumulated over a semester or a year does not seem like a good deal. Under this option, those low-balance borrowers could retire their debt much faster, while higher-balance borrowers would keep paying for longer.
The data are less clear for other groups on whom policies should focus, such as black or African American borrowers. However, these solutions overall increase the generosity of IDR in a way that should make this option better for anyone who has high levels of debt relative to their income. That, in turn, should help individuals whose earnings do not match the expected return on their debt, such as due to wage discrimination. There would be some work involved to ensure that borrowers apply for IDR and are making necessary payments.
But the relief itself could be handled by the Education Department and student loan servicers. Slightly more than one-quarter of borrowers in repayment currently use an IDR plan, so the effect will be somewhat limited unless interim principal forgiveness encourages increased usage of these plans.