WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – President Donald Trump says it’s time to wipe out student debt for United States veterans who are permanently disabled.
In a surprise move this week, the president ordered the Department of Education to forgive millions of dollars in federal student loan debt for qualifying veterans.
Permanently disabled veterans have long been eligible to wipe out their federal student debt. But Tony Lowe, of Veterans of Foreign Wars, says the process is complicated and discouraging.
“I think the safe bet is to say that there are tens of thousands of disabled veterans that could qualify for this but they’re simply unaware of it,” Lowe said.
Back in May, 51 state attorneys general sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos saying the current application requirements posed “insurmountable obstacles” for many disabled veterans.
“For a service member, or excuse me – a veteran, that may not be as computer savvy, it can be very difficult,” Lowe explained.
President Trump got the message. He ordered the Education Department on Wednesday to make it easier for disabled veterans to apply.
“Altogether, this action will wipe out an average of $30,000 of debt owed by more than 25,000 eligible veterans,” the president said.
Lowe calls it fantastic and an amazing accomplishment. He adds that it’s now up to the Department of Education to make sure veterans know about the faster forgiveness process.
“We need to rely on the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs to absolutely push a marketing campaign or an advertising or awareness campaign out to those potential members,” he said.
There’s still no word on how exactly the new process will work. But for many veterans, any change is a good thing.