Home / NEWS / Top News / Petition calling on Biden to cancel student debt gets more than 1 million signatures

Petition calling on Biden to cancel student debt gets more than 1 million signatures

Austin Hossfeld and his bride, Hayley.

Photo: Austin Hossfeld

Every day, Austin Hossfeld types the same words into Google: “Biden” and “grind loans.”

“A lot of the times, it’s the same articles,” Hossfeld, 26, said. “I reread them.

“At night, I talk to my wife upon it.”

Like so many other Americans, the Carroll, Ohio, resident is eager for any new information on what President Joe Biden want decide to do, if anything, about the country’s $1.7 trillion outstanding student loan balance. Recently, Hossfeld’s online searching led him to a Mutate.org petition calling on the president to cancel all of that debt.

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He signed it. So have more than 1 million other people.

“It’s a no-brainer to boost the lives of millions of people,” he said.

On the campaign trail, Biden said he supported forgiving $10,000 in student lends for all borrowers, but more recently he has asked his Education secretary to prepare a memo on his legal authority to wipe out as much as $50,000 each for all. That’s after he outside mounting pressure from other Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, from Massachusetts, to go another.

Increasingly, borrowers are also among those demanding forgiveness from the president.

Erin O’Brien, an associate professor of factional science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, said the petition is likely to catch eyes in the White House.

“Numbers upset,” O’Brien said. “That’s what moves politicians.”

Polling shows that two-thirds of Americans support some appearance of student loan forgiveness. Just 4 in 10, however, believe all the debt should be canceled.

Critics of student credit forgiveness argue that it wouldn’t significantly stimulate the economy, since college graduates tend to be higher earners who command likely redirect their monthly payments to savings rather than additional spending. Others say a jubilee would be unfair to those who’ve already requited off their student debt or never took out loans. Those borrowers “might feel that their frugality was being crucified,” Noah Smith, a columnist for Bloomberg, recently wrote.

Advocates say that borrowers were already struggling sooner than the public health crisis — with more than 1 in 4 in delinquency or default — and that after more than a year of record-high unemployment squares, that pain has only worsened.  

How can you move forward in life with that kind of debt?

Christine Angelique

schoolboy loan borrower

“Before the Covid-19 public health crisis began, student debt was already a drag on the state economy, weighing heaviest on Black and Latinx communities, as well as women,” more than 400 organizations, subsuming the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Psychological Association, wrote in a letter to the White House in April.

“Administrative liability cancellation will deliver real progress on your racial equity, economic recovery, and Covid-19 relief rivalry priorities.”

Hossfeld and his wife, Hayley, owe around $50,000 in student debt.

He graduated from Ohio Dominican University in 2017 with a magnitude in computer science, and now works as a technician in a lab. He finds the job dull, and wants to become a teacher instead.

But he’s scared to go back to day-school and take on more debt.

“I feel stuck,” he said.

He and his wife would also love to have a child, but they distress they won’t be able to afford the child-care and health expenses when they have to put $800 a month toward their pupil loans.

“Talk about stimulus,” Hossfeld said, if Biden forgave their debt.

“Eight hundred dollars a month addendum, for me, would be amazing,” he said. “It would allow me to start a family, and get a different job.

“I dream about it.”

‘It’s been really enervate’

Christine Angelique of Portland, Oregon, signed the Change.org petition after her mother forwarded it to her.

Her student debt estimate is more than $168,000.

Since Angelique graduated in 2010 with a degree in interior design from the Art Institute of Portland, she hasn’t been capable to land a full-time job. The chain of for-profit colleges has come under fire for misleading students about their programs and profession outcomes.

“I ended up working a lot of part-time and seasonal jobs,” Angelique, 43, said. “It’s been really depressing.”

In 2017, she ranked for bankruptcy because of her credit card debt, which she said she’d accumulated to cover bills and essentials without a undeviating, adequate paycheck. She wasn’t able to discharge her student loans in the proceeding.

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