More than 10% of New Mexicans eligible for student debt relief, numbers show

By: - September 23, 2022 4:30 am

Activists call on President Biden to not resume student loan payments in February and to cancel student debt near The White House on Dec. 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi / Getty Images)

Figures released this week show that more than 1 in 10 New Mexicans are eligible to have some of their student loan debt wiped out.

According to the White House, 215,900 New Mexican borrowers are eligible for at least $10,000 in debt relief, not to mention a slew of other changes meant to ease the pain of being a student borrower. That’s about 17% of all New Mexican adults. 

Of those eligible, 159,000 are Pell Grant recipients, meaning they can get $20,000 forgiven of their student loan balance. That’s 74% of eligible recipients, making New Mexico tied with Arkansas for the second-highest percentage of Pell Grant borrowers in the country. Pell Grants are given to low-income students. Mississippi has the highest percentage of Pell Grant recipients at 76%.

Biden to wipe out $10,000 in student loan debt for many borrowers

The White House on Tuesday announced the number of borrowers in each state who could benefit from the student debt relief program and encouraged those who are eligible to apply. 

To be eligible, household annual income must be below $125,000 for individuals or $250,000 for married couples or heads of households.

Other reforms include changes to income-based repayment plans that reduce bills from 10% of one’s monthly income to 5%, and forgiving loan balances of less than $12,000 after 10 years, not 20 years, of payments.

The application to receive the debt relief is not yet available. But it’s expected to be in early October. Borrowers who want to be alerted about the application can sign up at this link


See a map below showing how many folks are eligible in each state. 


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Patrick Lohmann
Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard.