Like so many other Americans, the Carroll, Ohio, resident is eager for any new information on what President Joe Biden will decide to do, if anything, about the country’s $1.7 trillion outstanding student loan balance.
Calling On Joe Biden To Cancel Student Debt
Recently, Hossfeld’s online searching led him to a Change.org petition calling on the president Joe Bidento cancel all of that debt. He signed it. So have more than 1 million other people. “It’s a no-brainer to help the lives of millions of people,” he said.
On the campaign trail, Joe Biden said he supported forgiving $10,000 in student loans for all borrowers, but more recently he has asked his Education secretary to prepare a memo on his legal authority to wipe out as much as $50,000 each for all. That’s after he faced mounting pressure from other Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, from Massachusetts, to go further.
Increasingly, borrowers are also among those demanding forgiveness from the president. Erin O’Brien, an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, said the petition is likely to catch eyes in the White House. “Numbers matter,” O’Brien said. “That’s what moves politicians.”
Polling shows that two-thirds of Americans support some form of student loan forgiveness. Just 4 in 10, however, believe all the debt should be canceled. Critics of student loan forgiveness argue that it wouldn’t significantly stimulate the economy, since college graduates tend to be higher earners who would likely redirect their monthly payments to savings rather than additional spending.
Petition Calling On Joe Biden To Cancel Student Debt
Others say a jubilee would be unfair to those who’ve already paid off their student debt or never took out loans. Those borrowers “might feel that their frugality was being punished,” Noah Smith, a columnist for Bloomberg, recently wrote.
Advocates say that borrowers were already struggling before the public health crisis — with more than 1 in 4 borrowers in delinquency or default — and that after over a year of record-high unemployment levels, that pain has only worsened.
“Before the Covid-19 public health crisis began, student debt was already a drag on the national economy, weighing heaviest on Black and Latinx communities, as well as women,” more than 400 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Psychological Association, wrote in a letter to the White House in April.
“Administrative debt cancellation will deliver real progress on your racial equity, economic recovery, and Covid-19 relief campaign priorities.” Hossfeld and his wife, Hayley, owe around $50,000 in student debt. He graduated from Ohio Dominican University in 2017 with a degree in computer science, and now works as a technician in a lab. He finds the job dull, and wants to become a teacher instead. But he’s scared to go back to school and take on more debt.