Student loan borrowers await Biden decision on forgiveness

WASHINGTON, D.C.– It can take years for many Americans to pay off their student loans. When he ran for President, Joe Biden pledged to cancel $10,000 in federal student loan debt per person, but he is still deciding whether to do so. Borrowers are anxious for a decision.​

Dara Zucker graduated from Carthage College in Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She had planned to pay for her education with scholarships, grants, and help from her father. But, when Zucker’s dad became disabled, she had to take out student loans.She now works in business development in Tampa. “I took out about $40,000 to finish my schooling. One of those I paid off myself it was a $5,000 one. I finished taking care of it because of this job. This job really gave me a lot to be able to put forward to that. The other one was only taken out at $35,000.”

It’s been six years since Zucker graduated. But, because of interest, she owes more on the $35,000 loan, then when she took it out. “Currently, my total is just under $39,000,” she said. 

When President Joe Biden took office in 2021, he continued a pandemic pause on federal student loan repayments.

That pause has been extended​ through the end of August. 

While Zucker says the pause has been helpful, “What I would like to see, if we can not absolutely clear it, is I want Biden to make good on his $10,000 promise. That he made that he ran on that he still has yet to cancel,” she said. 

Biden is expected to make a decision soon. While some Democrats say $10,000 dollars in forgiveness is not enough, some Republicans say wiping out any debts would be unfair to those who paid off their loans in full, and that the real problem is the rising cost of education. 

Republican Senator Rick Scott has just introduced a bill that would require “Congressional approval for any mass cancellation of student debt.” But, that legislation has no chance of passing because of Democratic opposition. 

Zucker says until her student loan debt goes down, she’ll put off some major milestones. “I can’t afford to buy a house. I can’t afford to get married right now,” she said. 

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