Students say any amount of debt relief would help

Biden supports $10k in loan forgiveness, no legislation has been introduced


Something is better than nothing. That seems to be the current motto of students facing loan debt.

Last month, President Biden rejected the proposal to relieve every borrower of $50,000 in student loan debt. 

And he reiterated that he only supports $10,000 in debt relief, which is what he’s been saying since last October when he introduced his higher education plan.

Biden’s plan says that anyone who makes less than $25,000 annually won’t have to make payments at all. Everyone’s debt will be forgiven after they’ve consistently made payments for 20 years, and borrowers will get $10,000 in relief for every year they work in public service for up to five years. This includes teachers, government workers and nonprofit employees.

And while some would love to get $50,000 of their debt taken away, many students like Jennifer Miranda-Harris would be happy with any kind of relief at this point.

Miranda-Harris, a speech and language pathology graduate student, fears the burden of her debt will make it difficult for her and her husband to buy a house one day. She said there’s not a lot of help for those facing student loan debt.

“I wish [Biden] could forgive it all, but I’d be grateful for $10,000 for sure,” Miranda-Harris said.

Higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz told CNBC that relieving $10,000 in students’ debt would act as a kind of stimulus and uplift the economy by helping those struggling the most financially.

According to Education Data, the total federal student loan debt in the U.S. is nearly $1.6 trillion. 

There are over 600,000 people in Louisiana with student debt and their total is about $21 billion.

But Ashley Hawkins, a junior political science major, isn’t too worried about her loans. She has a couple more years in school and doesn’t have to start paying them off until six months after she graduates.

But while she’s not worried about her own debt, she is in support of the relief. She said while any amount of relief would be appreciated, it should be more than $10,000.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to the $50,000 forgiveness and I don’t believe anyone with loans would be much opposed to it,” Hawkins said.