Student Loan Forgiveness: Most Think Biden Will Forgive Debt
Will President Joe Biden Forgive Student Loans? No one outside the White House knows for sure, but just over half of Americans think it’s a legitimate possibility – and one that will wipe out significant debt for the nation’s borrowers.
In a new survey from Money and Decision Intelligence Morning Consult, 51% of respondents said they thought the Biden administration was likely to write off up to $10,000 in student debt per borrower.
Others expressed doubts, with 27% of those polled saying Biden probably or definitely wouldn’t forgive up to $10,000 per borrower. The remaining 23% said they don’t know or have no opinion on the likelihood of student loan forgiveness. (Numbers do not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding.)
The findings come after months of speculation over whether Biden will use his executive powers to write off at least some student loan debt.
During his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden said the government should pardon a minimum of $10,000 per person, arguing that “debted youth and other students bore the brunt of the last crisis” and “that shouldn’t no longer reproduce”. But since taking office, Biden has been reluctant to use his authority to enact full-scale loan forgiveness. Citing concerns about the possibility of an executive order being subsequently overturned and possible legal challenges, the White House has repeatedly said the president would rather see Congress pass a bill canceling student debt than than to do it himself.
In the meantime, most federal student loan payments are suspended until August 31.
Who anticipates the cancellation of student loans?
The idea of student loan forgiveness is popular. Among 2,210 American adults contacted in early May, 54% said they strongly or somewhat supported Biden canceling up to $10,000 in student debt per person. That share slipped to 51% when the proposed discount peaked at $20,000 and to 47% when it hit $50,000.
But there’s a difference in loving the concept student loan forgiveness and to think it will actually happen. The results of these polls reveal this difference.
Self-identified Democrats were among the most confident respondents that Biden will take action on student loans, with 65% saying they think he will probably or definitely eliminate up to $10,000 per borrower. Comparatively, 42% of Republicans said the same.
Respondents aged 18-34 were more likely than older people to say Biden would cancel up to $10,000 in loans, as were those who voted for him in 2020. Notably, 59% of people who currently have debts said they believed Biden would forgive loans up to that amount. Black respondents were particularly optimistic, with 64% believing Biden will write off $10,000 per person, compared to 50% of Hispanic adults and 48% of white adults.
A much smaller number of people said they thought Biden would wipe out more than $10,000 in student loans per person.
Overall, only 38% of respondents said they thought Biden would forgive up to $20,000 per borrower. Only 26% thought it would cancel up to $50,000.
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