Some civil servants see their debt canceled

SAN DIEGO — The deadline to start paying off your student loan is fast approaching, but some officials are watching their loans disappear.

A San Diego Mesa College professor says the rest of his student loan has been forgiven, thanks to some changes to the public service loan forgiveness program. Some teachers, firefighters, nurses and other civil servants have their debt erased.

“I saw it reading a zero balance last week. I didn’t think it would ever happen. I really didn’t think,” said Professor Janna Braun.

Professor Braun was one of thousands of borrowers who had their student loan debt forgiven as part of the Biden administration’s overhaul of the civil service loan forgiveness program.

“I’ve been paying off the same loan since I graduated in 2004,” Braun said.

His financial burden was erased. But it’s a burden that nearly 44 million Americans still struggle with.

“The price of higher education has just increased in recent years, and because of that, students are more and more in debt, and because of that, it has had a negative impact on their lives,” said Alan Gin, professor of economics at the University of San Diego.

Student Jessica Ordanez says she is worried about how she will be able to pay for her studies.

“I’m going to have to be able to take out a loan and pay it back in the future, and who knows, it could cost thousands of dollars and that’s scary,” Ordanez said.

The pause on student loan debt repayments is set to expire at the end of August. The Biden administration plans to write off $10,000 in debt while others are urging the administration to write off $50,000 as Americans battle soaring inflation.

“I think it would be a boost for the economy. The only potential downside is that some people would say other people went through and paid off their debt and they got no debt forgiveness, but again, that’s a different time,” Gin said.

The Biden administration is expected to announce whether it will extend the pause on student loan payments again by the end of August.

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