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‘I am more than grateful:’ Millions of Americans over 50 may benefit from Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan – CNN


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If it weren’t for her student loan debt, Lark Abelson would already be retired.

The 63-year-old took out $5,000 in loans more than 20 years ago to get an associate degree in computer technology from Wor-Wic Community College in Maryland to try to make a better life for herself and her younger daughter. But she wasn’t able to find work in the field and remained in low-paying retail jobs that prevented her from paying back the debt. After enrolling in income-driven repayment plans several times, she went into default a few years ago.

Abelson, who lives outside of Ocean City, Maryland, was afraid to quit her job and rely on Social Security because the federal government can withhold part of her monthly checks to repay the debt.

But the federal student loan debt relief plan that President Joe Biden announced in late August has given Abelson new hope. Though she hasn’t checked her balance lately, she thinks it will wipe out what she owes. She’s already asked to be notified when she can apply for forgiveness and has taken the first step toward signing up for Social Security benefits.

“Because I know this is coming through, I actually started the process of claiming Social Security the day after Biden announced it,” Abelson said of the debt relief plan. “I am more than grateful.”

There are nearly 9 million federal student loan borrowers like Abelson who are over the age of 50. They account for nearly 20% of the roughly 43 million federal student loan borrowers.

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