Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)
Why is cancelling student loan debt important to you? Chuck Schumer wants to know the answer.
Here’s what you know.
In the ongoing debate whether to cancel student loans, some members of Congress have taken to social media to ask constituents how cancelling student loans may change their life. In a Facebook post this week, Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) asked: “Why is cancelling student loan debt important to you?” Here are some of the responses from both supporters and opponents of wide-scale student loan forgiveness:
Will your student loans get cancelled?
“Too many young people are saddled with student debt. It prevents them from buying homes and cars, therefore, prevents them from contributing to society. I know people with student debt well into their forties and fifties. They need help. Time to cancel student debt.” — Liz K
“Student loans…used to be able to be discharged in bankruptcy, and they wouldn’t accrue interest during periods of unemployment and while enrolled in school…Let’s reset the clock. Forgive the loans; rewrite the laws so they operate the way they used to; and give everyone a fresh start.” — Paul A.
“I have no student debt. Nonetheless, I’d like to see student debt cancelled so that young people would be free to start small businesses, pursue the arts and, work in underpaid fields, like teaching. Student debt cancellation would benefit us all.” — Connie B.
“[T]oday young people are incurring an exorbitant amount of debt that prevents them from making the right long term career choices or doing work that will be a service to their communities and our society. It also prevents young people from being able to have families, dream of home ownership and build a solid future. Everyone should have an opportunity to have a college education. Everyone. Not just the rich and privileged few.” — Joan D.
“It’s not we don’t want to pay — we will and have paid. We want it to be fair so we can move on with our lives and contribute to the economy. We want to be able to save to make sure our kids don’t land in this position.” — Gabrielle R.
“If I didn’t have my student debt, I would have a few hundred extra dollars a month that could go into purchasing goods, eating out at restaurants, or a whole host if activities that support the local economy, build business and otherwise invest in the community I am living in. The single greatest stimulation to the economy is by enabling people who live in it to contribute to it.” — Shaun M.
“My entire generation has put off getting married, having children and buying houses because so many of us are drowning in crushing student loan debt. The majority of us have been faithfully paying what we can, and if the remaining debt was forgiven we could contribute to our economy. Additionally; rates of mental illness (anxiety/depression) would probably drop as well.” — Elizabeth A.
“Going to college is a choice. If you make that choice, you accept that you pay the cost, just like anything else you purchase. There are different sources for a higher education, some cost more than others. Don’t choose one you can’t afford. Not to mention how many people go to college and don’t fully apply themselves, thus not making good use of the money being spent. If the universities and professors want to waive their fees, that’s up to them. The taxpayers shouldn’t be liable.” — Byron S.
“…[W]hat about the millions of people who have struggled for years to pay off their own debt? Or the people who went to affordable schools when they could have gone to a better school, but chose not to because they didn’t want to have the loan in the first place? What about all those parents who sacrificed and worked second jobs to put their kids through school? It’s about taking responsibility for your decisions and your actions. Making sacrifices. No one is owed anything.” — Michael Q.
“[W]hen those people buy houses or cars and decide that they can’t or don’t want to make the payments on them are we going to forgive that debt as well?…Forgiving debt is a near-sighted band aid solution.” — Josh C.
“[Y]ou realize the debt is not cancelled? It is just transferred to the hard working middle class taxes payers who did not benefit from it?” — Michael M.
“[S]o people who paid off their own student debt, then saved and sacrificed for their kids to avoid debt should also be responsible for other people’s debt?” — Debbie S.
“Students knowingly accepted the burden. Those who did not, or could not, had to choose another path. Why should those working people, all working people in fact, take on the bill for those students? How is a student loan different from a car loan, home loan, etc? People make choices and need uphold their responsibilities.” — Heidi O.
“I have three college degrees. With each degree, I took out loans. I dutifully paid them off. For three years, I worked three jobs to get my debt paid off. I picked schools and programs I could afford. I lived with my parents for two years before getting my own place. I sacrificed and did without for a long time to pay my bills. I would have never expected the taxpayers to pay my obligations. I don’t deserve their burdens.” — Laura W.
“I picked an affordable college and a degree program that had a high probably of providing a job. My debt has been paid due to hard work and sacrifice. Life is about choices. Those with debt made the choice and it is their responsibility to pay it off.” — Scott J.
It’s helpful to hear from constituents on both sides about student loan cancellation. Supporters of student loan cancellation say that wide-scale student loan forgiveness will stimulate the economy, decrease disparities, increase family formation, and help with new business formation, among other benefits. Opponents of student loan cancellation say they don’t want to pay off other people’s student loans and question why mortgages or credit card debt also can’t be cancelled. Both sides agree on at least one thing: the cost of higher education is prohibitively expensive. While student loan cancellation helps current borrowers of student loans, it won’t lower the cost of tuition or make college more affordable. Beyond student loan cancellation, both Republicans and Democrats should be able to find common ground on helping Americans have access to higher education at a more affordable price. As Congress debates the future of student loans, make sure you understand all your options for student loan repayment, including:
Zack Friedman is the bestselling author of the blockbuster book, THE LEMONADE LIFE. Apple named The Lemonade Life one of “Fall’s Biggest Audiobooks” and a “Must-Listen.”