The debate over whether or not student debt should be forgiven is a popular discussion amongst a variety of communities today. The inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden on January 20 came with the anticipation as to what actions would be taken in regards to student debt.
Student debt plagues the nation, with a record of 45.3 million students in debt by an average of $37,691 each as of 2021.
People spend many years after college paying off their student debt, with not only the original amount looming over their heads, but interest on the loans and additional factors to worry about.
The crippling debt that Americans find themselves in as a result of pursuing a higher education, which is necessary for many careers nowadays, is ridiculous, especially in comparison to other nations. Canada, for example, relieves former students of their debt after 15 years.
The crippling debt that Americans find themselves in as a result of pursuing a higher education, which is necessary for many careers nowadays, is ridiculous, especially in comparison to other nations.
American student loans are meant to take 10 years to pay off, but as of 2019 it has been found that on average it takes double the time to pay off loans between $20,000 and $40,000. Students often take on more debt in order to receive their education. With this in mind, plus the additional factor of interest, it’s no wonder why Americans are begging for student loan forgiveness.
Not only are interest rates a factor to consider, but the cost of living in the U.S. is constantly on the rise, with an increase of 2.3% occurring over the past year alone despite the global pandemic sweeping the nation.
There have been countless horror stories of people taking drastic measures as a result of debt related stress, with an estimated 100,000 suicide attempts a year due to debt alone.
As a result of COVID-19, student debt among the nation has increased by 8.28%. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on America’s economy, students are expected to continue paying off their loan, or they face the possibility of falling further behind and having their debt follow them throughout their lives for even longer.
As a result of COVID-19, student debt among the nation has increased by 8.28%.
Student loans are actually thought to have a negative effect on the nation, with a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia stating that student loan debt leads to fewer businesses being created. Fewer business equals fewer jobs, and fewer jobs means less money for consumers to spend, overall negatively affecting the economy. As of 2020, the total outstanding debt of the nation is a whopping $1.4 billion.
With college costs growing over three times the rate of inflation over the span of the last 20 years, it’s no wonder why more and more students are having to take out student loans in order to pay off higher education.
In order to combat what is effectively proving to be a national crisis, the United States needs to enact some type of debt forgiveness plan to relieve U.S. citizens and help stimulate the economy. A constructive way to do this may be taking an approach like Canada’s that allows forgiveness after a set amount of years of paying off the loans to those who have not already.
The times are changing and as we grow as a nation, America is asking for forgiveness in order to see the country truly prosper.
Illustration by Kamdyn Roher