Girl Gone Smart: Let's talk student loan debt relief - quick and dirty

I'm unsurprised by the debate surrounding this initiative by President Biden, but one misconception is that he's doing it because of the next election cycle.

That is false. It was a campaign promise and he's following through. I know we haven't been used to a President following through on anything from 2016 to 2020, but here we are.

Jokes, memes, and assumptions aside, one thing I have to point out is (as usual) Republican hypocrisy - and not even just for politicians.

So many beg, scream, and yell: "Do something for the people! Do something for the middle-class!"

Again, here we are. This IS exactly who benefits from student loan debt relief. If you believe you're now paying for the higher education of others, trust that isn't true. The interest rates on student loans from the 1980s until now will cover most if not all. Why? Because student loans, in many cases, ends up costing three or four more times the loan amount.

I'm not going to get into all of the arguments for or against, but I do want to provide some quick and dirty information that may help you if you're someone who will benefit from the program. In fact, some of this may benefit those who are not eligible.

  1. If you're married but keep your finances separate, your spouse's income should not be factored into your monthly payment amount as long as you do not have access to their account. Visit and look for this form: Income-driven Repayment Plan Request. Page two is where you indicate you cannot reasonably access spouses account.

  2. Pell Grants are a form of federal financial aid awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. These do not need to be paid back. If you're unsure if you ever received a Pell Grant, log into or create an account at

  3. Double check your accounts. I'm hearing more and more that some grant money was added to loan amounts during the sale or resale of lending companies. If grant money is included in your loan amount, talk to an attorney. Considering interest rates on some loans - you may be owed money or have the ability to reduce the total amount even more. You may have to collect the records from every college you attended.

  4. Republicans give $10,000 bounties to capture women seeking reproductive care while Democrats give $10,000 in student loan forgiveness. - Erik Garcia

  5. If you still have student loans and disagree with this program, you do not have to apply.

  6. To be kept updated on when you can apply for student loan relief, visit and select Federal Student Loan Borrower Updates.

  7. Unlike other existing income-driven repayment plans, no borrower’s loan balance will grow as long as they make their monthly payments—even when that monthly payment is $0 because their income is so low. This is huge because it caps interest rates.

I'm very happy for those who will have their debt completely relieved, or heavily reduced. Student loans and the associated interest rates are nothing but predatory lending.