Siena College's Student Newspaper

Opinion

Can Biden Just Give Us the Money Already?

Photo Courtesy of Forbes.

Since the campaign trail, President Joe Biden has been promising all student loan borrows debt relief of at least $10,000, if not $50,000. 

At the moment, Biden has put this issue on pause, much to the stress of many borrowers. Although Biden did extend the pause of student loan payments and interest his first day in office, he has not moved forward with his promise of immediately canceling $10,000 in student debt. 

Part of this is due to the fact that progressive members of Congress are proposing a much bigger loan relief, such as $50,000. This incentive is back by Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Warren advocated for 95 percent loan relief on her campaign trail and is now backing this incentive with Biden. However, the President doesn’t believe he has the authority to cancel student loan debt, but Congress does. Biden has stated he will sign the bill if Congress passes it, yet he doesn’t believe he should write an executive order. 

Has he broken his campaign promise by pausing this issue for now like so many other presidents before him? 

Not necessarily…but could you do it by May…January at the latest?

As a senior, I’ve already begun to pay off my federal loans as much as I possibly can. Typically, I allocate $200 a paycheck (or $400 a month) toward my loans. So far, I’ve managed to cover all my unsubsidized loans, a feat most college students don’t have the option to do. I will come out with minimal debt (under $20,000), meaning my loan payments will not be terrible, even with the interest starting in January. However, that’s not the case for the majority of my peers. 

The initial promise to cancel $10,000 immediately was nice because it put me in a position where I could continue to pay off $400 a month and only have a very, very small price to pay at the end of the May. Plus, it’s also helpful to a lot of borrowers. While $10,000 may not seem like a lot when it comes to debt forgiveness, every penny counts. 

To put this issue on pause without a promise of it being delivered before loan payments and interest rates start applying again is worrying to some, and detrimental to a whole lot more. 

This isn’t an issue that can put on pause. Without Congress or the President actively working to aid students in debt forgiveness, this problem only becomes bigger. This is an issue that affects millions of us. If the government can choose to worry about giving the unemployed $300 a week extra, then they can also choose to worry about presenting this issue to Congress now. 

Stalling loan payments won’t last forever, but you shouldn’t have to give up every penny you make for a degree. Student loan forgiveness is a necessity, especially with colleges charging students more money per class for a virtual experience. 

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