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PolitiFact Wisconsin: Who will benefit if college students loans are forgiven?

Posted at 10:42 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 17:46:45-04

MILWAUKEE — Student loan forgiveness has become a key talking point for politicians, but who will really benefit?

Millions of student debt holders have been waiting for President Biden to decide about college loan forgiveness.

Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman made this claim about the idea.

"He said that nearly 60% of all student loan debt is held by the rich and upper-middle class. So, forgiveness would give the wealthy a financial windfall, but not really help low-income people," said Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Let's look at the front end of that claim - who is really holding most of the debt?

PolitiFact Wisconsin says it's more in the range of middle to upper-middle-class earners.

"A May report from researchers at found that Americans with an income over $74,000 hold about 60% of the total public student loan debt," Borowski said. "Households that earn $35,000 or less each year, hold about 20% of the total public student loan debt."

PolitiFact Wisconsin says Grothman is largely right on the numbers in part because higher-income people who have more debt often attend grad school.

But it doesn't mean lower-income earners wouldn't benefit from loan forgiveness.

"For them, a smaller amount, say $100,000, is a much bigger burden, and therefore forgiveness would make a much bigger difference," according to Borowski.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Grothman's claim Half True.

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