ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that student loan borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year can have up to $10,000 in student loan debt forgiven. This amount increases to $20,000 for those who went to college on Pell grants.

The federal student loan payment freeze is also extended again. The freeze has been extended several times since 2020 to help Americans struggling financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some recent college graduates are showing signs of optimism from the recent announcement.

“It takes a huge debt out of my loans,” said class of ’19 Elmira College graduate Justin Gillule. “It’s certainly not the end-all-be-all of what needs to happen with student loans, but I believe that it’s a band-aid solution.”

Despite the forgiveness plan and extended payment freeze, some economists suggest borrowers, who are able, to start paying their loans right away. The forgiveness plan, economists argue, may put more stress on the inflation problem and add to the national debt.

“We’re gonna drive up inflation that way,” said Matthew Burr, economist and human resources consultant. “We’re gonna continue to print money that we don’t have and add to a 30 plus trillion dollar debt.”

President Biden announced the freeze will be extended until December 31st of this year. The freeze was previously set to expire on August 31st.

Both the debt forgiveness and freeze are only expected to apply to those who are currently holding student debt. Borrowers who made payments since March 2020, when payments were paused, can request a refund for those payments by contacting their loan servicer.