Almost 50,000 Wyomingites Eligible for Biden’s Student Debt Relief Program
In a fact sheet put out by the White House on how many people are eligible for President Joe Biden's student debt relief plan, there are 49,600 people in Wyoming eligible for relief.
Biden's plan, which forgives $10,000 in student debt for those making under $125,000, will give an additional $10,000 in relief to those that have received Pell Grants, of which 31,400 people in Wyoming are eligible.
According to the Education Data Initiative, Wyoming owes a total of $1.7 billion in student loan debt, at an average amount of $31,250 per borrower, out of the 54,400 borrowers across the state.
Including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories, Wyoming ranks 48th in terms of the average amount borrowed and has the lowest total amount borrowed of any state.
Out of the 9.4% of residents that have student loan debt, 20.4% owe less than $5,000, 36.6% owe between $5,000 and $20,000, 19.9% owe between $20,000 and $40,000, 17.2% owe between $40,000 and $100,000, and 5.6% owe more than $100,000.
When it comes to forgiveness, 91.1% of borrowers in Wyoming would have at least $10,000 in debt forgiven, and 57.7% would have $20,000 in debt forgiven, while 57% of borrowers would have all or at least half their debt forgiven.
According to an estimate by the Wharton Business school, Biden's debt relief program will cost the federal government $329.7 billion over 10 years, with $298.4 billion of that in 2022.
Governor Mark Gordon said in a statement to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle:
"The Biden loan forgiveness plan does not magically make these loans disappear, nor will it bring down the cost of higher education," Gordon said. "Instead, this new and poorly thought-through government handout transfers the debt from borrowers to hardworking taxpayers, some of whom already diligently paid off their loans or chose to forgo higher education. This, among the many other fiscal policy disasters this White House has created, will only exacerbate inflation and continue to increase the costs of everyday goods."
In a letter signed by Gordon on Sept. 12, he, along with 21 other Republican governors, asked Biden to rescind his debt relief plan, due to the impact it would have on the economy, specifically inflation.
While it is unclear exactly how the debt relief will impact inflation, an economist with Moody’s said that the plan would increase inflation by 0.08%, while the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) claims it will increase inflation by 0.15%.
It is also possible that, as argued by the Roosevelt Institute against what the CRFB claimed, debt relief will have a minimal impact on inflation and instead provide more people with greater wealth and allow greater savings for poorer Americans.