On The Money — How Borrowers Can Prepare for Forgiveness

The Biden administration is expected to issue large-scale student loan forgiveness requests in the coming weeks — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps borrowers can take now to prepare. We’ll also look at recent Goldman Sachs housing forecasts, the growing pressure around Amazon’s worker safety “crisis,” and more.

But first, see why some furloughed pilots are picketing airports across the country ahead of the busy Labor Day travel weekend.

welcome to money, your nightly guide to everything related to your bills, bank account, and bottom line. For The Hill, we are Sylvan Lane and Aris Folley. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

What Borrowers Can Do While Waiting for Loan Cancellation

In a few weeks, the Biden administration is expected to unveil applications allowing student borrowers to enroll for up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness.

Applications are expected to drop by early October and borrowers will have a short time to apply if they want the relief to take effect before the end of the year. Here are some key steps student borrowers can take now to prepare for the application process:

  • Log in to your student aid account: One of the first things experts have urged borrowers to do in the coming weeks is to log into their account at StudentAid.gov. There, borrowers will be able to see a breakdown of their federal loan and grant information as well as track and manage their federal loans.
  • Find out what loans you have: President Biden’s forgiveness plan is unlikely to provide debt relief from private loans, experts say, although there are questions about whether borrowers with certain loans issued by private lenders will be able to see relief. In particular, experts are awaiting more information on how the department will handle loans from the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
  • Check your income eligibility: Eligibility for relief extends to borrowers with incomes below $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples and heads of households. Experts say the amount will be based on income earned in 2020 and 2021, so borrowers may need to have this information.

Check out the other steps here.


Goldman Sachs Releases Real Estate Slowdown Forecast: ‘Further to Fall’

Goldman Sachs says home sales fell more than previously reported, a trend that experts say could continue later in the year.

Researchers said in the new report that sales of new and existing homes increased by nearly
30% drop from the peak seen in October 2020 amid higher mortgage rates and a reversal of what have been described as several “pandemic-related preference shifts.”

  • During the pandemic, the country has seen a boom in household formation and demand for second homes, the researchers noted. But they added that several areas that once saw “disproportionate increases in home sales and building permits in 2020 and 2021” are now seeing disproportionate declines.
  • The researchers say home sales could fall even further in the coming months due to several factors, including what they called a “sustained reduction in affordability, a slowing pandemic, and a recent decline in purchase intentions”.
  • A model included in the report predicts a potentially sharp slowdown in home price growth over the next few quarters and flat home prices next year as what the researchers described as an ongoing imbalance between supply and demand stabilizes further.

Aris has more here.


Groups ask Amazon CEO to testify about warehouse worker safety ‘crisis’

More than 30 labor and civil society groups are demanding Amazon CEO Andy Jassy testify at a congressional hearing on the company’s worker safety ‘crisis’.

In a letter sent Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and key lawmakers from two congressional labor committees, the coalition urged lawmakers to hold a congressional hearing on “unsafe work practices” the groups say have caused a number of deaths and injuries at Amazon’s warehouses and call Jassy and others “responsible” for these conditions to testify.

  • The letter said three Amazon workers at a New Jersey warehouse died last month in the space of three weeks, and about 34,000 serious injuries were reported at company facilities last year.
  • The groups also cited a Center for Strategic Organization report that found on-site injuries at company facilities across the country have increased by
    20% from 2020 to 2021 and another report by the non-profit organization Make the Road NJ which noted that injuries at Amazon fulfillment centers in New Jersey increased by 54% during this period.

The Hill’s Olafimihan Oshin has more information here.


Bank of America Announces Measures to Boost Black and Hispanic Homeownership

Bank of America announced a new effort to bolster homeownership opportunities in Black and Latino communities, with plans to offer no-down payment, no-closing-cost mortgage options in select neighborhoods.

The bank said the new options, announced this week, will be offered in black and Latino neighborhoods in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and Miami, as well as other markets.

  • Bank of America says its effort, called Community Affordable Loan Solution, is aimed at helping “eligible individuals and families get an affordable loan to buy a home.”
  • As part of the new rollout, the bank said the program will use “credit guidelines based on factors such as rent, utility bill, timely phone and car insurance payments” and n will not require “minimum mortgage insurance or credit score“.

Aris has the details here.

Good to know

The social cost of carbon is significantly higher than the federal estimate, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature.

The researchers estimated the financial cost associated with projected future carbon emissions at $185 per tonne of carbon pollution added to the atmosphere, more than three times the federal government’s figure of $51.

Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:

  • A bipartisan data privacy bill faces another hurdle, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressing concern Thursday that the proposal would limit state protections.
  • On Thursday, House Republicans asked Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to postpone communications between Facebook and the FBI regarding the platform’s reduced distribution of a New York Post article about Hunter Biden.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finances page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.


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