How many SC residents will be freed from debt now that Biden is forgiving $10K in student loans?

SETH WENIG /AP
·3 min read

Roughly 29.2% of South Carolina residents with federal student loans will see that debt completely wiped away now that $10,000 in forgiveness has been approved, a recent analysis shows.

The percentage equates to 203,899 people in the Palmetto State, according to a study from LendingTree, an online lending marketplace. President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he would forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loans. He also plans to forgive up to $20,000 in federal Pell Grants.

LendingTree used U.S. Department of Education statistics to compile the analysis. The report was made before Biden’s announcement, so it does not include Pell Grant forgiveness. The Washington Post had previously reported that the Biden administration was considering forgiving $10,000 per federal borrower. Meanwhile, the current pause on student federal loan repayment is set to expire at the end of August.

“For deeply indebted borrowers, the impact might be minimal, but it could potentially free others — one in three eligible borrowers, in fact — from all their federal student debt,” the nationwide study states. “The difference lies in how much debt each borrower carries and what kind of student loans they have.”

The study notes that the federal loans owned by the government accounts for about $1.4 trillion in outstanding debt.

The study shows that South Carolina ranks 46th among the states for percentage of borrowers who would see their debt erased if $10,000 was forgiven.

Wyoming was ranked first, with 37.8% of borrowers set to see their debt erased by $10,000 in forgiveness.

Meanwhile, about 56,887 people or 8.2% of federal student loan borrowers in South Carolina owe at least $100,000, meaning a $10,000 reduction wouldn’t help much, the report shows.

The Biden administration has already eliminated $18.5 billion in loans for more than 700,000 Americans by temporarily expanding or streamlining existing forgiveness programs.

Here are other ways for people to get student loan forgiveness.

  • The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program will forgive your loans after 10 years of working in public service. And in October 2021, this program was temporarily expanded to include borrowers who didn’t previously qualify — though you’ll need to act before Oct. 31, 2022.

  • The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program offers up to $17,500 in student loan cancellation after five years of working in an eligible school.

  • You could get your student loan balance forgiven after 20 or 25 years on an income-driven repayment plan. While you usually have to pay taxes on the forgiven amount, the government has waived this tax bill until at least Jan. 1, 2026, with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Below is a list of the percent of borrowers in each state who will have their federal student debt eliminated with $10,000 in forgiveness.

  1. Wyoming: 37.8%

  2. Nevada: 36.6%

  3. Utah: 36.4%

  4. North Dakota: 35.8%

  5. Alaska: 35.4%

  6. Oklahoma: 35%

  7. New Mexico: 34.8%

  8. Nebraska: 34.8%

  9. Louisiana: 34.8%

  10. West Virginia: 34.6%

  11. Iowa: 34.5%

  12. Arkansas: 34.4%

  13. Rhode Island: 34.3%

  14. Arizona: 34.3%

  15. Texas: 34.2%

  16. Mississippi: 34.1%

  17. Idaho: 33.8%

  18. California: 33.5%

  19. Kentucky:33.3%

  20. Kansas: 33.3%

  21. South Dakota: 33.2%

  22. Wisconsin: 33.2%

  23. Montana: 33.1%

  24. Maine: 32.9%

  25. Hawaii: 32.7%

  26. Washington: 32.7%

  27. Indiana: 32.4%

  28. Massachusetts: 31.9%

  29. New York: 31.8%

  30. Florida: 31.6%

  31. Delaware: 31.6%

  32. New Jersey: 31.6%

  33. Tennessee: 31.5%

  34. Alabama: 31.5%

  35. Michigan: 31.4%

  36. Ohio: 31.4%

  37. Connecticut: 31.3%

  38. Illinois: 31.3%

  39. New Hampshire: 31.2%

  40. Missouri: 31.2%

  41. Colorado: 31%

  42. Minnesota: 30.8%

  43. Pennsylvania: 30.2%

  44. Vermont: 30%

  45. South Carolina: 29.4%

  46. North Carolina: 29.2%

  47. Maryland: 28.9%

  48. Georgia: 28.9%

  49. Virginia: 28.6%

  50. District of Columbia: 25.3%