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'This represents about 50% of my debt': Hoosiers excited for student loan forgiveness plan

Student loan forgiveness
Posted at 7:00 PM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 19:00:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS — President Joe Biden announced a plan to cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans. Two Hoosiers we talked to about this say this forgiveness will give them more financial freedom.

“There is more than a little bit of relief. It's certainly not all of my debt,” said Caleb Flegel, a student loan borrower. “I’ve been paying my loans for more than 20 years and haven't made any dent in the principal."

Flegel went to school in the late 90’s to pursue a degree in military history. After getting his bachelor’s degree he enlisted in the military, but was injured and not able to continue his planned career. He later went to nursing school for a short amount of time. He owes about $20,000 left on his loans. He hasn’t been paying his federal student loans due to the pause on payments.

“I’ve been a good boy and paying like I am supposed to be the whole time and I am still buried in debt,” said Flegel. “ So, yeah this helps.”

Hannah Gregory graduated college in 2019. She did everything she could to not take out student loans. She went to Ivy Tech for to raise her GPA, which lead to her getting scholarships. Even with all those extra steps, she still has close to $20,000 in student loan debt.

"With just the cost of living being as high as it is right now, that is going to do a lot,” said Gregory. “I can put that elsewhere; I can take those payments that I was going to put towards my federal student loans and put those towards my private now. “

Both know there will be backlash from people who oppose a step like this. However, they hope people will understand that this assistance will help millions of Americans and Hoosiers.

"For me, this represents about 50 percent of my debt give or take and for others I know that are in the same boat but for them it's a drop in the bucket,” Flegel said.

"If we can make things better for people, even if it means we missed a few people along the way, then we are on our way to making the world overall a better place,” Gregory said.

Forgiveness only applies to those who earn less than $125,000 per year. For married couples, the income threshold is $250,000 a year to qualify.

MORE: Who is eligible for federal student loan forgiveness? | Economists, organizations react to expected student loan forgiveness