Students and graduates with crippling student loans have been left off of the $484 billion stimulus bill passed on April 23 by the House of Representatives.
Instead, most of the funding of the bill focuses on providing assistance to small businesses suffering due to statewide shutdowns as a result of the pandemic. It aims to keep the afloat. Funding will also provide assistance for coronavirus testing.
President Trump signed the bill into law on April 24.
Forbes featured a useful breakdown of where the money is being allocated under the plan, also known as the PPP Healthcare Enhancement Act:
- Payment Protection Program (PPP): $310 billion
- Emergency money for health system: $75 billion
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan program: $50 billion
- Testing and contact tracing capabilities: $25 billion
- PPP administrative costs: $12 billion
- Emergency Economic Injury Grant program: $10 billion
- Small Business Administration salaries and expenses: $2 billion
While student loan forgiveness wasn’t included in this bill, Congress has made efforts to help out those plagued by debt that they suddenly cannot pay off.
Last month, the CARES Act suspended all federal student loan payments, ended collections and other actions against defaulted borrowers, and stopped the accrual of interest from March 13 through September 30.
There have also been many proposed student loan forgiveness plans including one from Senate Democrats that wants to forgive $10,000 in loans, another from former Vice President Joe Biden forgiving loans for all undergrad tuition for borrowers making less than $125,000 per year along with a proposed $750 billion student loan plan utilizing income-driven repayment, and one from Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposing to cancel the debt of 95% of Americans.
The United States Public Interest Research Group also announced that a newly announced agreement will protect the finances of millions of Americans who owe money on student loans.
Members of Congress have proposed other stimulus packages including a second stimulus check that would pay Americans $2,000 a month until things go back to normal.