The White House is considering excluding high earners from being eligible for student-loan relief, a report says

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Biden announces a ban on US imports of Russian oil and gas at the White House on March 8, 2022.
Biden has taken several actions aimed at helping people tackle student-loan debt.Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images
  • High earners could be excluded from qualifying for student-loan relief, The Washington Post reported.

  • "There's different proposals floating around about how to structure this," a source told the paper.

  • Relief for loans that were taken out for medicine and law degrees could also reportedly be excluded.

The White House is weighing up the possibility of using income caps to exclude high earners in its eligibility criteria for student-loan relief.

The Washington Post reported the news on Saturday.

Officials are thinking about ways to write off student loans as President Biden indicated that he is considering waiving the debt, Congress lawmakers told various news outlets on Wednesday.

Top Biden aides are looking at capping the relief to people earning less than $125,000 to $150,000, or $250,000 to $300,000 for couples that file joint taxes, people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. But they said that no final decision has been made on the plans.

"There's different proposals floating around the administration about how to structure this," one person told the Washington Post.

They added that administration and Congressional staff have centered their discussion on "how to best meet the president's desire to ensure the most economically vulnerable people with student debt benefit from any action."

The US administration is discussing the amount that will be cut from student-loan debt but this could be at least $10,000 for eligible individuals, the people briefed on the matter told The Washington Post.

The people added that the White House is also considering excluding relief for loans that were taken out for professional degrees like medicine and law, and could limit the aid to undergraduate loans.

Biden has taken a number of actions since taking office to help Americans who have mounting student loan debts totalling $1.7 trillion. Biden said this week that he would make a decision on student-loan relief in the coming weeks, but he did note that $50,000 in student-loan forgiveness is off the table — a number many progressive lawmakers were pushing for.

And with the pause on student-loan payments set to expire after August 31, at this point, Democrats just want the president to make progress on the crisis. And this has Republican lawmakers worried. As Insider reported, over past weeks the GOP has been ramping up criticism of the prospect of broad student-loan forgiveness, citing its cost to taxpayers and the economy.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, for example, called it a "bribe" on Twitter: "Other bribe suggestions: Forgive auto loans? Forgive credit card debt? Forgive mortgages? And put a wealth tax on the super-rich to pay for it all. What could possibly go wrong?"

But imposing thresholds on forgiveness, as the Post reported, could make the relief seem more favorable to the GOP. Sen. Susan Collins told Insider she had "a lot of concerns that there does not seem to be any kind of income cap that he is proposing."

"I believe that we ought to increase Pell Grants which go to our neediest families and that is a far better way to target relief," she said. For now, millions of student-loan borrowers will have to wait and see what will happen to their debt balances this summer.

Read the original article on Business Insider