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Schumer calls for higher loan provider staffing levels amid student loan forgiveness

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Carolyn Kaster

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling for increased staffing at lending agencies amid the rollout of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

“We need our student loan providers to get with it and inform students how to do this,” Schumer said at a press conference on Sunday.

According to a statement from Schumer, over $16 billion in federal student loans will be canceled in New York alone. Biden’s plan will forgive $10,000 in federal loans for each eligible student. Individuals who were awarded Pell Grants will receive $20,000 in loan forgiveness. All eligible students, current and graduated, must be earning less than $125,000 per year.

Since Biden’s initial announcement on August 24, many students have been left confused by the intricacies of whether this financial forgiveness applies to them.

“They kind’ve just said ‘We’re going to do this,’ and left it out in the air for people to figure out,” said Timothy Maher, who studies at Stony Brook University.

“I know that there are a lot of financial stipulations to the debt forgiveness in terms of who qualifies based on income,” he continued. “And I don’t really know what those stipulations are or where I would go to figure out if I do qualify for them.”

Without ample support, Schumer said he fears that millions of New Yorkers eligible for the aid will unknowingly pass up on the opportunity. With applications opening in early October, he said time is of the essence.

“Right now, because of the overwhelming interest, you call up these loan processors and either no one answers or you have to wait on the phone for three, four hours,” Schumer said.

More information about Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is available online.

Lauren is a former news intern at WSHU.
Sydney is a former news intern at WSHU.