August 25, 2022

Nearly 300,000 Hoosiers could have their student loans canceled

In Indiana around 900,000 people have outstanding debt for higher education. - Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

In Indiana around 900,000 people have outstanding debt for higher education.

Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

Around 294,000 Hoosiers could have their student loans wiped away under President Joe Biden's effort to forgive up to $10,000 of federal student loan debt.

Even more could have what they owe decreased or totally forgiven if they qualify for Biden’s effort to cancel up to $20,000 of debt for Pell Grant recipients. There are more than 150,800 Indiana recipients of this grant to help low-income students pay for higher education.

Wednesday the president made the long awaited announcement to cancel some of the federal student debt for an estimated 43 million eligible borrowers. To qualify for the relief, an individual’s income must be less than $125,000, or $250,000 for households.

The median household income in Indiana is $58,235, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In Indiana, around 906,500 people have federal student loan debt, according to federal data compiled by the Education Data Initiative. The average Indiana resident owes $32,874. Nationwide, borrowers owe $37,667, on average. 

Just more than 32 percent of borrowers owe less than $10,000, according to federal data. About 20 percent of residents owe between $10,000 and $20,000. And 1.4 percent of people have more than $200,000 in outstanding debt

In total, Hoosiers owe $29.8 billion in federal student loan debt. 

How to know if you qualify

A fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Education explains the rules around Biden’s debt forgiveness plan. 

A portal to submit income data to the department is expected to go live before the pause on federal student loan repayments, interest and collections ends on Dec. 31. 

Nearly 8 million borrowers may have their debt canceled automatically because the education department has their income data. 

The Biden administration said payments are set to resume in January 2023. The loan repayment suspension began in March 2020 to reduce the financial burden of borrowers at the start of the pandemic.

Contact WFYI education editor Eric Weddle at or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.

Correction: A previous version of this article said "The average Indiana resident owes $28,522." That was incorrect. The average Indiana resident owes $32,874.


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