Should student loans be waived? New poll finds Americans divided

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The news on everyone’s mind over the past week – if not the last few years – has been America’s growing student loan crisis. In late August, GOBankingRates asked readers for their thoughts, asking the question: Do you think student loan debt should be forgiven?

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Respondents could choose answers such as “yes, all”, “yes, federal loans only”, “maybe”, “no” and “other”. Of the more than 13,000 responses and tallies, 64.8% of men didn’t think student loans should be forgiven, while women were less unilaterally decided, with 41% saying no, 40.8% saying it all should being forgiven and 14.8% believing in forgiveness. should only apply to federal loans.

Other findings include 76% of married people who think student loans shouldn’t be forgiven and 73.5% of homeowners who also said no (while 15.4% of homeowners said it should all be forgiven ).

In terms of age, 18-34 year olds overwhelmingly favor pardons (39% said all, 24% said federal only, and 34% said none). Respondents aged 55 and over were the opposite, with 67.5% saying none should be forgiven, while 22% said everything should be undone. Finally, respondents who lived in urban areas were twice as likely to say that all student loan debt should be forgiven.

According to the White House, 43 million Americans have at least some student debt, exacerbated by the fact that tuition at public and private four-year institutions has nearly tripled since 1980.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Education has found that almost all undergraduate students have around $25,000 in debt when they graduate, and many of those with this debt leave school without a degree. . Additionally, the $25,000 threshold is at or near the typical starting salary in most states, per Zip Recruiter, which has caused a substantial financial burden for many new to the workforce. – and with the interest that continues to accumulate over time. of the loan, the problem only gets worse over time.

In total, the federal government has calculated that there is currently $1.6 trillion in total student loan debt for all borrowers across the country. The situation has become so dire that President Biden has made it a focal point of his campaign for the White House and delivered on his promise to address the situation on August 24 when he announced new relief measures. This included extending the moratorium on repayments until the end of 2022 and granting all borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year debt forgiveness of $10,000 ($20,000 total for anyone receiving a Pell grant).

But there is definitely a divide when it comes to the endorsement of the effort. Some in Washington argued for the program’s fairness for those who don’t have student loan debt but other types of debt, and others wondered who would foot the bill.

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Another recent GOBankingRates poll asked what readers would do with their money if all their student loan debt was forgiven, with the majority saying they would buy a house. Twenty-two percent chose this option, including 48.18% of 18-24 year olds and 45.33% of 25-34 year olds. Putting money into other forms of debt was another popular choice (21.2% of respondents), especially for older demographics in the survey, including 30.12% of 35-44 year olds and 45, 05% of 45 to 54 year olds. -old.

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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined GOBankingRates.com in 2022, adding to her 15 years of journalism with signings to Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The AV Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her pets and is working on a first historical fiction novel about World War II. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College in Chicago.

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