Vice President Kamala Harris urges students to apply for student loan forgiveness program

Vice President Kamala Harris urged students Tuesday to take advantage of a new program that wipes out up to $20,000 in college loan debt.

"You needn't have graduated to apply for the debt relief. So, please help me get the word out," Harris said.

She said the Biden administration will soon post the forms that eligible borrowers will need to fill out.


While the vice president spoke in South Carolina, people in the White House communications office were video-conferencing with local reporters across the country, touting how many borrowers in each individual state could benefit.

"In Illinois, nearly 1.5 million people may be able to benefit from President Biden's plan. Over 600,000 individuals in the state may see their loan balances go to zero," said Rachel Thomas, senior communications advisor for policy at the White House.

Eligibility is limited to individuals making less than $125,000 a year, $250,000 for a couple. The White House says about 90% of the benefits will flow to those making less than $75,000 a year.

"The president and I also know that you cannot help us build a better future if you are buried under a mountain of student debt after you leave here," Harris said. "And that is why we have announced that we will cancel $10,000 of federal student loan debt for all borrowers making less than $125,000 a year."

"And we will also cancel, and this is of particular relevance to HBCU students, $20,000 of debt for Pell Grant recipients."

The vice president was speaking at the historically Black college South Carolina State University.

Those eligible for the student loan forgiveness have until the end of 2023 to apply.