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Trump cancels student loan debt for disabled veterans

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order cancelling student loan debt for U.S veterans who are permanently disabled.

“It was my honor to sign a Presidential Memorandum facilitating the cancellation of student loan debt for 25K of our most severely disabled Veterans,” Trump tweeted. “With today’s order, we express the everlasting love & loyalty of a truly grateful Nation. God bless our Vets, & God Bless America!”

Fox News reports that the order “also clears those eligible veterans from having to pay any federal income tax on the loans. Trump added that he is pressuring individual states to follow suit.”

From the article:

The memo Trump signed directs the government to develop an “expedited” process so veterans can have their federal student loan debt discharged “with minimal burdens.” Currently, just half of the roughly 50,000 disabled veterans who are qualified to have their federal student loan debt forgiven have received the benefit because of a burdensome application process.

Under the current process, disabled veterans can have their debt forgiven under a loan forgiveness program, called Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, or TPD, as long as they have a VA service-connected disability rating of 100 percent. As of July, however, only about 20 percent of the eligible pool of veterans had taken advantage of the program due to the complicated nature of the application and other factors.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the new order builds on improvements to the TPD discharge process implemented in 2018 to help expedite what has been considered a very cumbersome process.

“In April 2018, the department established a data matching process with the VA to identify totally and permanently disabled veterans who are eligible for student loan relief. Since April 2018, this process has resulted in … providing more than $650 million in student loan relief to more than 22,000 eligible veterans,” the department stated on its website.

“Veterans will still have the right to weigh their options and to decline loan discharge within 60 days of notification of their eligibility,” it added. “Veterans may elect to decline loan relief either because of potential tax liability in some states, or because receiving loan relief could make it more difficult to take future student loans. Eligible veterans who do not opt out of the program will have their remaining student loan balance discharged and will be reimbursed for payments made following the date of their disability discharge.”

The New York Times reports that Trump projects roughly 25,000 wounded warriors will save an average of $30,000 through the move, but that “represents a small fraction of about $1.6 trillion in overall student loan debt in the United States, which has become a point of emphasis among many of the Democrats running for president.”

IMAGE: S. Ferdon / Shutterstock

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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