Nearly 164,000 people applied for student loan debt forgiveness in San Antonio, data shows

US Supreme Court will hear arguments on Feb. 28 related to President Biden’s plan

FILE - President Joe Biden answers questions with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona as they leave an event about the student debt relief portal beta test in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, Oct. 17, 2022. The Biden administration is no longer accepting applications for student loan forgiveness after a second federal court shut down the program. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Susan Walsh, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

If you live in the San Antonio area and applied for student loan forgiveness — you are not alone.

Nearly 164,000 people with student loan debt applied for loan forgiveness in San Antonio since President Joe Biden announced his initiative last year.

POLITICO filed an open records request to determine how many applications were sent to the Biden administration for loan forgiveness in each US ZIP code.

KSAT parsed out 64 San Antonio-area ZIP codes and found that 163,798 people applied for student loan forgiveness based on POLITICO’s data set, which was provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Of those 64 ZIP codes, 12 were shown to have more than 4,000 people who submitted student loan debt relief applications.

Here are the 12 ZIP codes where data shows more than 4,000 people applied for student loan forgiveness:

  • 78223
  • 78230
  • 78233
  • 78240
  • 78245
  • 78247
  • 78249
  • 78250
  • 78251
  • 78253
  • 78254
  • 78258

According to POLTICO, student loan borrowers living in lower-income areas applied for the program at a higher rate compared to those who live in wealthier neighborhoods. The data shows the majority of applications came from areas where the per-capita income is under $35,000.

The U.S. Supreme Court is gearing up to hear arguments next week related to Biden’s student loan forgiveness initiative.

If the initiative holds up, the student debt relief plan is expected to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student debt for people who make less than $125,000 per year, and up to $20,000 for people who received Pell Grants.

According to the White House, nearly 90% of relief dollars will go to those earning less than $75,000 per year.

“POLITICO’s analysis found that more than 98 percent of applications came from ZIP codes where the average income is under $75,000. About two-thirds were from neighborhoods with an average income below $40,000,” according to the publication.

Applications for the debt relief program halted after it was blocked by two federal courts.

“In September, the Republican-led states of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and South Carolina filed suit to halt the program, arguing that the pandemic no longer qualifies as a national emergency,” the Associated Press reported.

Biden’s administration is arguing that challenges to the debt cancellation plan have failed to establish standing, which essentially means they cannot demonstrate a solid economic injury.

“The issue of standing could prove critical, as the program could be upheld even if the Supreme Court justices question its ultimate legality if they determine that the challengers are unable to demonstrate that they have standing,” according to Forbes.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Payments for student loans are set to resume on June 30 if the litigation has not been resolved by that date. Borrowers will have 60 days to resume payments if no ruling is issued.

If the Supreme Court rules on the lawsuit prior to June 30, borrowers will have to start paying their remaining balances 60 days after the court’s decision.

Related: How to get a refund for student loan payments made during pandemic pause (and who shouldn’t)

Although people currently enrolled in college do not qualify for the student loan forgiveness, UTSA and San Antonio College students have mixed opinions after President Biden’s announcement.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.