AUSTIN, Texas — After President Joe Biden announced canceling student loan debt for 43 million borrowers, people in Austin had mixed feeling about the planned relief.
KVUE's Daranesha Herron took to one of the busiest streets in Austin: South Congress Avenue. Whiteboard in hand, she asked the community about their thoughts on the new student loan forgiveness plan.
"I have over $26,000 left," said Leah Fritz.
That's an amount Fritz said would take her 10 to 20 years to pay off.
When Kati Rivera was asked if she has student loan debt, she said "it's more than $20,000."
Greg Baker has been paying for his student loans for 25 years.
"I'm finally down to below $10,000," said Baker.
For Emma Fritz, her student loans are paid off, but her husband's are not.
"My husband had $9,990 left and we were kind of waiting for this," said Emma.
Almost every person we spoke with has student loan debt, but their opinions on the relief are very different.
"I'm very happy," said Fritz. "Obviously, it takes a big chunk of that away, so it's a little bit more manageable now."
"I think that people probably have more than $10,000 or $20,000 in student loan debt and that's just not enough," said Kati Rivera of the relief. "I think it should be all of it."
While Baker has been paying his loans off for two decades, he is not supportive of loan forgiveness.
"You know what you're getting into," said Baker. "I mean, you took out a loan to get something, you need to pay it back. But I am in favor of the pause of interest accruing on student loans, and I'm in favor of them limiting to 5% of their take-home salary."
Hansom Wong feels the opposite.
"You do need to pay your bills, but like when the bill is continually growing, when you've got this loan at a young age and don't understand the ramifications, you know," said Wong.
Fritz was the only person KVUE interviewed who did not have student loans.
"I paid mine off, but it doesn't affect how I feel about other people," said Emma. "I'm still happy for other people."
The loan forgiveness plan cancels $20,000 in student loan debt for those who received a pell grant. It gives $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-pell grant recipients.
For those who are not married, their income has to be less than $125,000 to qualify. Those who are married need to have a combined income of less than $250,000 to qualify.
The plan also extended the pause on student loan repayment to Dec. 31. The administration also cut undergraduate loan monthly payments in half. Borrowers now only have to pay 5% of their income.
The White House said this plan could cancel the full remaining balance for roughly 20 million people.
To get the loan forgiveness, the White House said the Department of Education already has the data it needs to do that automatically for 8 million people.
Others will be able to fill out an application that'll be posted online before the loan payment pause ends on December 31.
This applies to both current and former students.
Borrowers can sign up to be notified when this information is available online here.
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