Biden considers relieving student loans

Ava Wittman, Co-Copy/Co-News Editor

Student debt has reached an all time high at $1.75 trillion across the United States, and with more and more people attending college, the accumulation of debt doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. 

During the pandemic, to help alleviate some Americans’ financial difficulties, former President Donald Trump paused student loan repayments. This move was continued by current President Joe Biden, who extended the pause until Aug. 31 of this year.

During his campaign, however, Biden seemed to want to go beyond just a pause, stating that a goal of his was $10,000 in student loan debt relief per person. 

Currently, 40 million Americans are in some form of student loan debt, whether it be public or private loans, and as it stands, it appears both types of borrowers will be eligible for the debt relief should it make its way to legislation. 

Whether this plan will see legislative action is not yet definitive. Members of Biden’s team, including his press secretary and chief of staff, have hinted that a plan for the debt relief should be on the horizon, but have not given a timeline of when this plan will be available to the public. 

Presently, it is also unclear who exactly will be eligible for debt relief. It would appear that the administration is considering an income cap; those beyond a certain annual salary – currently suspected to fall around $125,000 – may not be eligible for relief. 

It is also speculated that the relief itself will be somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000, since Biden stated that more than $50,000 of relief is not a possibility. The final amount of relief will affect how much federal money is needed and may, ultimately, have an impact on inflation. Many seem to think that in this case, more is better. 

“Every dollar of student debt cancellation counts, but bigger is better for advancing racial equity and economic security,” assistant professor at UC, Merced Charlie Eaton, wrote in conjunction with four other authors. 

Biden faces congressional pressure in advancing this plan as well, with many progessive House Representatives fearing the plan will not make enough progress and other, more conservative Representatives fearing the plan is too ambitious and will come with unforeseen economic consequences. 

Whether this plan is brought to the table, and whether it will make it through the various legislative channels remains to be seen, but possibly, in time, student debt will lessen in the United States.