Is 50,000 Dollars of Student Loan Forgiveness Officially Underway?


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For many across the country, one of the highlights of President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign was his promise to cancel student loans. With America’s pile of student loan debt growing at a steady rate, many rallied for such cancellation, citing the loans as a “debt trap.” Coming in at $1.6 trillion, national student debt was at an all-time high in 2020. Amid the outpour of adamant pleas, then president-elect Biden endorsed the forgiveness of at least $10,000 of student debt. The decision made by Biden was ultimately provoked by the economic pitfall caused by the ongoing pandemic. Under the proposition that forgiving the loans of the masses will inevitably stimulate the economy, President Biden has officially moved forward with this commitment.

Aside from the announcement, the plan of exactly how forgiving student loans will tke place remains unclear. Talks of execution have been shown to strike polarized debates amongst elected officials. While President Biden’s early wishes were to forgive student loans through a Congress legislated stimulus, other officials like Senator Elizabeth Warren allude to other strategies. Suggesting Biden use his executive power, Senator Warren and other legislators have become supporters of an immediate executive order. If such an executive order is enacted, loan forgiveness would shortly begin disbursement. Furthermore, the prior $10,000 forgiveness would become five times as much, at a total of $50,000 in student loan forgiveness.

As the new president and his team consider routes of canceling student debt, one question remains: Who qualifies? While the lines remain blurred as to who may qualify for student loan forgiveness, the stipulations are contingent upon the plan of execution. If President Biden were to take the route of Congress, the guarantee of absolute loan forgiveness would become indefinite. Given that this plan of action is more or less a COVID-19 stimulus package, loan forgiveness may be swiftly undermined and forgotten. This becomes an increasingly high possibility, seeing as there is no mention of student loan forgiveness in said stimulus package.

If Biden were to follow the advice of other elected officials and enact an executive order, more people may benefit. However, this comes with a few important conditions. Forgiveness eligibility ends for those who make over $125,000 per year. Under such conditions, citizens making more money will be forced to maintain their current status. Moreover, the distinction of loans – federal or private – eligible for forgiveness continues to be of concern for many loan borrowers.

Taking on a life of its own, the student loan phenomenon has prompted dichotomized arguments from those facing debt and others who paid it off incrementally. While such a significant announcement called for swift celebration from the millions of people deeply affected by student loans, others denounced the possibility. For some, the canceling of student loans is unjust to those who paid them off. One frequent argument remains that the erasure of student loans overshadows the sacrificial efforts and hard work of paying off debt.

Overall, President Biden’s plan of student loan forgiveness could prove groundbreaking. Through his lens of replenishing the current economy and lifting financial limitations, millions of Americans may soon save $50,000.