Written by Debra Murray
Student debt is an incredible weight on recent college graduates. According to Forbes, money borrowed for student loans varying in age, race, gender, etc. equals more than 1.5 trillion dollars. Student loan debt is the second most crushing debt, being second to mortgage debt.
“It affects me because I can’t pay for college on my own, and instead of being in debt for many years to come because I decided to get the secondary education needed to be successful in today’s life, I have to work at a high-paying job that works with my college and allows me to attend school for free so I am not financially crippled for the many years after college,” said Senior Kendall Roberts.
Each of the 2020 presidential candidates has their own stance on how to fix this pressing issue. Senator Bernie Sanders plans to completely erase student debt and relieve 45 million students of their crushing debt. Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed that borrowers with a household income of under $100,000 would be relieved of $50,000 worth of debt. Warren also proposed that households that earn between $100,000 to $250,000 would be able to get a varying amount of debt forgiven. Joe Biden promises that a person making under $30,000 would be “off the hook” from making monthly loan payments. However, Cory Brooker promises that only loans of a public school teacher would be forgiven. Brooker has also been working to lower interest rates and expand the public service loan forgiveness programs. Julian Castro has a plan that student loan borrowers would not pay more than 10% of their flexible income on loans. His plan also states that after 20 years, any amount of debt would be forgiven. Kamala Harris’s plan would forgive the debt of Pell Grant recipients who start a business in a disadvantaged area and are able to run the business for three years.
“I’m absolutely voting for Bernie,” said Roberts when asked about her favorite presidential candidate.
Many students are worried about the burden they will have to face due to the weight of this issue, but having a president willing to find a solution to this issue may take that worry away.
“Student debt has made me very weary of going to college. I’ve wanted a higher education since I was little but the thought of not being able to pay for it has plagued me. I am looking for a presidential candidate who will take this issue into their hands to free the commonwealth of the draining efforts of trying to pay off college,” said Senior Austin Rivers.
According to the Motley Fool, the total United States loan balance was $547 billion in 2007, but in 2017, the total loan balance was $1.386 trillion.
Senior Justice Avis said, “Student debt is an increasing issue. Each year the amount of student debt grows and that’s what I’m worried about the most about getting higher education.”