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After President Biden announced his student loan handout plan on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, many parents immediately wondered about the status of the college loans they took out in their own names on behalf of their children.
Many moms and dads took out Parent PLUS loans, the federal loans available to parents of undergraduate students to handle college expenses not covered by financial aid.
Currently, at least 3.4 million Parent PLUS borrowers owe at least $87 billion, according to the Brookings Institute.
It is not yet clear whether Biden’s proposed student loan handout plan applies to Parent PLUS loans, according to The Wall Street Journal, which quoted White House sources.
What is clear so far is that Biden is canceling $10,000 of federal student loan debt for certain borrowers making less than $125,000 per year, and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients — while extending the pause on federal student loan payments through the end of the year.
The nation’s federal student debt now tops $1.6 trillion. More than 43 million Americans have federal student debt, with almost a third owing less than $10,000 and more than half owing less than $20,000, according to the latest federal data.
The national debt, according to the Treasury Department, currently sits at $30.7 trillion.
Meanwhile, many parents are feeling as if they’re going to be left holding the bag while others have college debt wiped away with the stroke of the president’s pen.
“I took out a loan for my kid in my name and I paid a total of $35,000 for his degree,” one Vermont father told Fox News Digital on Wednesday.
“It took me years to pay that off,” he continued.
“And my son didn’t get a high-paying job right out of school — so repayment from him was, initially, very slow.”
More than one in five Parent PLUS student loan borrowers (21%) say they regret taking on the debt, according to a 2021 NerdWallet survey.
An attorney also weighed in on the serious financial issue that affects many families.
“We have many parents come in with Parent PLUS loans that they are not able to pay,” Susan Williams, a bankruptcy attorney with her own practice in Enfield, Connecticut, told Fox News Digital this week.
“There is nothing we can really do in terms of discharging them, either,” she noted, saying that “it should be disclosed to parents in the event they fall on hard times that they are stuck with the loans forever.”
Williams continued, “The government even attaches these parents’ social security benefits. Parents and students need to be properly educated about the loans they are taking. They think it’s Monopoly money, and it’s not.”
Williams, who is also a parent of two college graduates, said of Biden’s just-released loan handout plan, “What about the parents who took their hard-earned money out of their savings to pay for their kids’ education? What relief do they get?”
A Boston-area mom of two college-age kids also weighed in on the Biden handout plan.
“Student loan relief may in fact not apply to parents who took out Parent PLUS loans in order to help their kid avoid being burdened by debt,” Karen Cahill, an educator, told Fox News Digital.
“Had the kids taken out the loans, we now know they would probably be eligible.”
On social media, parents shared their doubts about the loan handout plan applying to the loans they themselves took out.
“So, the current administration is planning a huge student loan forgiveness plan,” wrote one dad on Facebook.
“I just want to know, When I am getting my refund for all the Parent PLUS and student loans I paid off?”
One student whose parent took out a Parent PLUS loan shared her own experience on Facebook — and referenced how she attacked her college debt, which was taken out in a parent’s name.
“I’ve paid off $40K of my federal student loans,” she wrote on Facebook.
“I started off with $46K ($20K of Parent PLUS loans and $26K of other student loans-subsidized/unsubsidized loans).”
She continued, “Now I’m left with $6K [in debt]. I think this is a testament of my grit and endurance.”
She added, “It was hard starting as a new nurse during the pandemic, but I kept going. Watching Dave Ramsay’s videos really helped me to stay motivated. Now my goal is to pay off the rest in the next two months.”
Brooke Singman of Fox News Digital contributed reporting to this article.