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What Kamala Harris Means For Your Student Loans

What Kamala Harris Means For Your Student Loans
Written by Publishing Team

Here’s what Vice President Kamala Harris could mean for your student loans.

Here’s what you need to know.

student loans

Since last year, student borrowers have been questioning President Joe Biden’s position on student loan cancellation. They asked questions like:

With congressional leaders focused on lobbying Biden to enact student loan forgiveness on a large scale, another director also has important views on student loans. Harris, a former US senator (Democrat from California) and a presidential candidate, has proposed several student loan and higher education reforms. Let’s explore. (What Biden’s latest student loan forgiveness means for your student loans.)


Student Loans: Student loan cancellation up to $20,000

Is canceling student debt next? As a presidential candidate, Harris proposed canceling up to $20,000 of student loan debt. Under the Harris plan, student loan forgiveness will not be available to everyone. Instead, Harris sought to make student loan forgiveness available to some borrowers. For example, borrowers who have Pell Grants, which are available to low-income students to help pay for college, can receive student loan forgiveness if they start and run a business for at least three years in an underserved community. The goal was to help spur economic incentives in disadvantaged opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, and waive student loans. (Biden has extended the student loan forgiveness, but advocates really want to cancel the student loan.)


Student loan cancellation: Not for everyone

As a moderate US senator and presidential candidate, Harris did not advocate canceling all student loans. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has proposed canceling all $1.7 trillion student loans, including all private and federal student loan debt. However, Harris, like Biden, supports up to $10,000 in student loan debt cancellation. (Student loan borrowers will get $15 billion from student loan cancellation.) As vice president, Harris said the student loan crisis is “real” and recognizes the need to find solutions. Similarly, while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (R-Mass.) have proposed student loan forgiveness up to $50,000, they also do not support the complete abolition of student loans. Under their plan, Schumer and Warren will limit student loan forgiveness only to federal student loans and to borrowers who earn up to $125,000 annually. (Here’s who qualifies for student loan forgiveness now.)


Student Loans: Harris Supports Tuition-Free College

One way Harris suggested to ease the student loan burden is to make two years of college free. Specifically, Harris supported:

  • Two- and four-year college-free tuition at public colleges and universities for borrowers who earn up to $125,000 in annual income; And
  • Double the maximum Pell Grant.

Sanders and Warren advocated the tuition-free college in the US Senate and during the presidential campaign. Like widespread student loan cancellation, Congress has yet to pass a tuition-free college. (If you’re waiting for student loan forgiveness, do this.)


Harris will also cancel student loans for these student loan borrowers

Harris, like Biden, has advocated canceling student loan debt for student loan borrowers at HCBU’s and Minority Service Institutions (MSI’s). Regarding the history of HBCUs, [students] They decide to take on a service career, which often doesn’t pay off as if they went private and did other things,” Harris said. “So for those students who go out and have jobs that pay less than $125,000, student loan debt will also be forgiven.”

Over the coming months and year, Harris and Biden could play a major role in shaping the future of student loans, student loan forgiveness, and student loan relief. An example is the last 90-day student loan forgiveness extension. However, student loan forgiveness will not last forever. It’s also possible that Congress won’t pass legislation reforming student loans. Until then, make sure you understand your options for paying off your student loan.

Here are some popular ways to pay off student loans faster:


Student loans: related reading

Is canceling student debt next?

Student loan borrowers will get $15 billion from student loan cancellation

Do this while waiting for student loan forgiveness

Biden Extended Student Loan Forgiveness, But Advocates Really Want Student Loan Canceled

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