Trump orders easier process to forgive student loans for disabled veterans


President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on the Education Department to find new ways to wipe out remaining student loan payments for nearly 25,000 disabled veterans facing significant debt despite existing aid programs designed for them. to help.

“The debt of these disabled veterans will be completely wiped out. It will be gone. They’ll sleep well tonight, ”Trump told a crowd of veterans at the AMVETS annual convention in Louisville, Ky. “This represents hundreds of millions of dollars in student debt held by our critically injured warriors. It’s gone forever.

Veterans who are 100 percent disabled are already eligible for full federal student loan debt forgiveness, but government officials have struggled to ensure that this entire group benefits from the program.

Despite a public education campaign on aid over the past year by the departments of Education and Veterans Affairs, about 25,000 veterans eligible for the program have still not signed up. Federal officials say many of them have already defaulted on federal loans, creating additional financial problems.

Earlier this year, Representative Connor Lamb, D-Pa. and Senate Veterans Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., each sponsored legislation to make loan cancellation automatic, giving the impetus to write off debt to federal agencies rather than veterans fighters.

Trump’s announcement on Wednesday appears to be about the same idea. In a separate fact sheet released by White House officials, they described the registration process as “too cumbersome” and said the purpose of the new memorandum is to ensure that “disabled veterans see their federal student loan debt paid off with minimal burdens.

The announcement came amid a high-profile speech on veterans and military issues from the Commander-in-Chief, who touted both his administration’s work in reforming VA policies and spending of the Ministry of Defense as crucial to national security.

Legislation under consideration in Congress includes a loan forgiveness for federal student loans that disabled veterans take out for their children’s education. Trump has not said what the scope of his new order will be.

White House officials have said the average federal debt borne by disabled veterans is around $ 30,000.

Veterans who believe they qualify for the Debt Cancellation Program can visit the Department of Education website for more information.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, DC since 2004, focusing on policies relating to military personnel and veterans. His work has earned him numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk Award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism Award, and the VFW News Media Award.

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