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President Biden has canceled over 8 billion dollars in student loans for some borrowers since becoming president. And while the overall number of students affected by his changes are in the thousands, more adults maintain high balances, even decades after graduating from college or university.

The student loan debt crisis is at a critical point, with over 1.7 trillion in borrowed dollars for higher education — something that most employers consider necessary in 2021. Millions of adults owe money for education, and Black families carry a heavier burden of student loan debt than do White families, according to the Brookings Institution.

According to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), canceling student loan debt is “the one thing Joe Biden could do by himself to help close the Black-white wealth gap.” Senator Warren, along with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) have called on President Biden to cancel at least $50,000 for all student loan borrowers. 

President refuses to cancel majority of student loan debt

Yet President Biden has balked at that number, and instead started pausing student loan debt repayment during the pandemic, along with capping interest to 0%. He then targeted specific borrowers, including those who have a disability, and those who were duped by fraudulent education operations, many of which charged wildly high tuition costs. 

While these measures of support are helpful, they do not address the millions of adults who are unable to fully discharge their loans. As President, Mr. Biden has the capacity to do more to help with the financial burden faced by graduates and former students across the country.

Meanwhile, Black families would benefit the most from a widespread student loan cancelation policy. As the income gap between Black families and White families is not affected by college education, student loan debt taken out by Black men and women only further increases those disparities. In fact, White college graduates on average still make more than seven times as much money as Black college graduates. 

This is one reason Senators Schumer and Warren are not letting up on their campaign for President Biden to cancel all student loan debt. “Student loan cancellation could occur today,” Senator Elizabeth Warren recently said in an interview. “The president just needs to sign a piece of paper canceling that debt. It doesn’t take any act of Congress or any amendment to the budget.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

2 replies on “Warren Urges Biden to Forgive $50,000 Student Debt”

  1. Thank you Erika for keeping this issue front and center. For me the strongest argument for loan cancellation, besides the obvious anchor on the economy, is the argument for fairness. This has personally impacted my family. When we took the loans we were all promised the option of doing certain qualified public benefit work in qualified low income areas and our loans would be forgiven Knowing my children would take this path we were convinced to take the interest only payment plan. But as things turned out this was a bait and switch during the Bush administration. Not a single loan was forgiven no matter what work you did. That has changed for the better recently but it is still a maze of conflicting types of loan qualifiers. For decades no one understood how it worked or why this loan may qualify but your loan will not qualify even though they were all student loans.

    Bottom line I have paid back more than the entire amount of $100,000 but still owe $100,000. How is this even possible? Bait and switch. We were advised to enroll in interest only payments so all your payments were pure bank profit and paid off nothing on your principal. Like Lucy and Charlie Brown’s football they promised loan forgiveness but they pulled it away after they had all your money. Which left you owing the original balance to the bankis. In criminal and economic law, bait and switch is a crime.
    Student Loan administration under the Republicans is that crime. First they made it illegal to go bankrupt then they made it impossible to qualify for loan forgiveness.This corruption is sinking our economy making an entire generation of college students wage slaves to pay off these loans. Postponing marriage and families and not being able to buy homes is a real result. This is, draining all creative energy away from the economy and into funnelling money to a few bankers hands, The result has been a horrible outcome for everyone. CANCEL STUDENT LOAN DEBT! We have already paid enough!

  2. Indentured servitude and no possibility of retirement. I will be paying off my student loans alongside paying for my sons college.
    No money? No worries- your social security, pension and 401k will be taken as well.

    Now you will be living in a van down by the river…

    Indentured servitude of the modern day.

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