Student Loan News: Free Money for Moving, Biden’s Latest Plans

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Welcome to Student Loan News, a weekly summary of developments and events affecting college debt in the U.S. Join us each Friday for a look at goings-on that could impact your own student loan situation.

More places to move for student debt relief

Sometimes paying off student loans is all about location, location, location. Consider these two recently-expanded programs:

First, MarketWatch reported Thursday that Maine has expanded a student loan repayment assistance program to any recent grads willing to move to the state. In exchange for becoming a Mainer, qualifying college graduates with student loans can receive a tax credit for every dollar they pay over the tax year toward their school debt.

On a smaller scale, Clinton County in Iowa plans to give out $1 a day to each of the first 40 qualifying college grads who move the community, with the money earmarked to help repay their student loans, according to a Clinton Herald report Tuesday.

How it affects YOU: Moving to a new community can have positive (or negative) effects on your student loan repayment. Sometimes, this is just about saving money on state income tax by moving to a low-tax or no-tax state. Or it could involve finding somewhere to live where daily costs are cheaper.

But there are also places that will literally help you repay your student debt if you make them your home. Options range from rural Kansas to Hamilton, Ohio. Keep an eye out for localities with this opportunity. And of course, remember there’s one other place you could move in order to potentially save money: your family’s home.

Biden rolls out student loan plans

Speaking in New Hampshire over the weekend, former vice president Joe Biden fleshed out some of his proposals to tackle the student debt crisis if he’s elected. Among the positions he touched on:

  • Offering free two-year community college to students, which he said could also help those planning to continue on to a four-year degree
  • Lower the minimum payment for income-driven repayment plans to just 5% of discretionary income, compared to 10%-20% currently
  • Allow interest-free deferment for those who make less than $30,000 a year

How it affects YOU: As the election season ripens, more student-loan proposals will likely bloom. We’ve already gotten some detailed plans from candidates such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — in fact, Warren plans to discuss the issue further at a town hall event on Sept. 3 with Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.). To keep up with the different ideas in the mix, have a look at our guide to the 2020 candidates’ positions on student debt — we’ll be updating it regularly, so check back from time to time.

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