Biden Forgives $415 Million in Student Loans, But Bernie Sanders Says to Forgive All of $1.8 Trillion in Student Debt

President Joe Biden canceled another $415 million in student loans, but Senator Bernie Sanders says Biden expected to cancel all $1.8 trillion student debt.

Student loans

The latest student loan forgiveness news shows Biden has forgiven $415 million in student loans for an additional 16,000 student borrowers. Biden has now forgiven nearly $15.5 billion in student loans, which is the most of any president. His latest student loan forgiveness benefits student borrowers who attended for-profit colleges. The U.S. Department of Education canceled $2 billion in student loans for 107,000 borrowers in the defense of borrowers for student loan repayment. In addition to targeted student loan forgiveness, Biden extended student loan relief three times, saving more than $75 billion in student loan interest. Despite these achievements for the benefit of student borrowers, Sanders (I-VT) says it’s not enough. Sanders says Biden should cancel all student loan debt.

“Good. Now cancel the remaining $1,883,214,046,704 for another 44,984,000 Americans still drowning in student debt,” Sanders tweeted in response to Biden canceling $415 million in student loans.


Sanders wants full student loan forgiveness of all student loan debt

Sanders proposed full student loan forgiveness, including all private and federal student loan debt. In contrast, Biden supports the cancellation of $10,000 in student loans. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are backing up to $50,000 in student loan forgiveness. As a presidential candidate, Warren supported student loan forgiveness for 95% of student borrowers. Sanders was an active supporter of mass student loan forgiveness during his presidential run, and he proposed similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.


Critics say Biden didn’t write off enough student debt

Proponents of large-scale student loan forgiveness say massive student loan forgiveness will stimulate the economy, relieve borrowers of a crippling debt burden and provide resources to start a family, buy a home and save for retirement. While welcoming the targeted student loan cancellation, critics say Biden hasn’t canceled enough student debt. (Will student loan repayments be postponed until 2023?). For example, $15.5 billion is less than 1% of approximately $1.8 trillion in outstanding student loans. They want Biden to use his supposed executive power to forgive most or all of the student loan debt. Sanders’ plan would cost $1.8 trillion, while Warren and Schumer’s plan would cost around $1 trillion. By contrast, Biden’s plan for $10,000 in student loan forgiveness would cost around $400 million. Biden urged Congress to pass legislation to cancel student loans, and he said he would gladly sign the legislation. However, Biden does not believe he holds such executive authority without congressional authorization. Importantly, Congress hasn’t even voted on large-scale student loan forgiveness.

(Student loan refinance rates are ridiculously low).


Student loans: Infighting and lack of clear message could hurt Democrats

Progressives in Congress are fighting for large-scale student loan relief. However, there is an internal inconsistency. Some Democrats want student loans canceled altogether. Some want $50,000 student loan forgiveness. Others want $10,000 in student loan forgiveness. (Student loan cancellation reduced to $25,000). Still others in Congress will not support any large-scale student loan cancellations. (The student loan forgiveness could be the reason the Democrats lose the midterm elections). Without a unified message, it is difficult to envision a clear path to victory. A better strategy would be to unite around a single plan and dollar amount. (Here’s Who Won’t Get Student Loan Forgiveness). If the president can’t cancel student loans and progressives are focused on mass student loan cancellation, Congress should explore avenues other than social media to enact their plan. If there is no support for canceling student loans as currently envisioned, then Democrats would benefit from finding a potential bipartisan plan that could appeal to moderates, conservatives and Republicans. Otherwise, their efforts may not result in the student loan relief they are fighting so hard to achieve.

As the end of temporary student loan relief approaches, please prepare for the restart of student loan repayments. Here are some popular ways to pay off student loans faster:


Student Loans: Related Reading

If Biden cancels student loans, it will happen next

Here’s who won’t get student loan forgiveness

Will student loan repayments be postponed until 2023?

Biden should end student loan relief

About Judith J. George

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