President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for millions of borrowers has drawn conflicting reactions from people all throughout the country.
Biden stated on Wednesday that recipients of Pell Grants, which are awarded to students from low- and middle-income households, are eligible for up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness if they have loans with the Department of Education and earn less than $125,000 annually. Loan forgiveness of $10,000 is available to those who did not obtain Pell Grants but earn less than $125,000 annually.
Along with a proposal to lift the payment freeze on federal student loans starting in January 2023, the reduction of student debt is being implemented.
The focused initiatives of the administration, according to Biden, “are for families that need it most: working and middle class households struck especially hard during the pandemic making under $125,000 a year.” “About 90% of the qualified beneficiaries make less than $75,000,” he underlined.
However, there are conflicting opinions about Biden’s choice across the country, which have flooded social media platforms. While some feel the executive order is unfair to individuals who made sacrifices and worked hard to pay off their student debt, others see it as a game-changer for millions of Americans who are drowning in debt.
Here are some comments made by Americans on Biden’s proposal.
Atlanta, Georgian, inhabitant Pamela Bone, age 59. Her youngest child has cerebral palsy, which motivated her to train as a middle school teacher for pupils with mild intellectual disabilities.
After her daughter was born, Bone and her family relocated from Seattle, although they briefly remained at home to be with her during a number of operations and medical appointments. She also volunteered at her daughter’s school and claimed to have been “amazed” by the amount of time, care, attention, and affection that her teachers had shown. This inspired her to return to school and complete her master’s and specialty degrees.
“I simply knew that this is what my true calling in life would be,” Bone said. “I wanted to give back to students what my daughter had experienced from caring individuals.” It goes without saying that obtaining the required certifications came at a great cost, but they were also vital given that I was now divorced and needed to take care of both myself and my kid.
The profession is “close and dear” to Bone’s heart despite the fact that instructors are underpaid.
She stated, “I am really grateful to get the cancellation of this debt since it allows me to put more money aside for my daughter’s future, to provide a life that is pleasant and meaningful for both of us.”
Jo Ann Hardy
66-year-old Detroit, Michigan resident Jo Ann Hardy describes her family as African American middle class. Her daughter’s master’s degree was paid for by her and her husband, Jerry, in 2004. She claims that the three of them sacrificed and toiled away to pay for her daughter’s college education with the aid of a few academic scholarships.
“We succeeded! Zero loans! We are happy that President Biden has proposed a proposal to assist in providing some assistance for students who had to take loans, even if we did not require loan support “said Hardy. “We are wise enough to understand that not all pupils and families can manage this on their own,”
The Hardys fully endorse the initiative to help borrowers reduce some of their student loan burden. They said that during the years, they had come into contact with families and students who “gave it their all and continue to make major contributions as professionals in our communities and across the US.”
“Bravo to those who were able to do so without using student loans! Bravo to those that required the financing assistance!” said Hardy.
The 34-year-old Bryan Lonsberry lives in Scottsburg, Indiana.
According to Lonsberry, he and his wife worked throughout their undergraduate careers and made sacrifices right away to pay off their loans.
“This loan forgiveness now feels like a slap in the face to us. We acted honourably and fulfilled the commitment we made to one another, “added he. “No matter which side of the aisle you are on, this policy sends the wrong message. The amount is $10,000 this time, but folks always want more the next time. It cannot be sustained.”
Lonsberry says he favours going to college but thinks everyone should pay for their own expenses.
“At the end of the day, nobody appears to want to own up to their mistakes. However, it seems like everyone just wants a handout these days, so people need to step up and take responsibility for themselves and their decisions “explained he.
The 28-year-old Elijah Watkins is from Atlanta, Georgia.
According to Watkins, Biden’s pledge to eliminate school loans will allow him to leave his mother’s home. Watkins claims that since the coronavirus epidemic began, he has had to live in a difficult situation where he was forced to pick between paying his rent and his debt. He went with the latter.
As a result, Watkins added, “I can start taking bigger steps within my adulthood for major purchases like acquiring my first home, getting a new automobile, or investing back into my own business.
This is the first time a president has directly touched my daily decision-making, outside of Obamacare, and it makes me happy to be an American citizen, he said.
Jacksonville, Florida native Brian Garten is thirty years old.
Garten took out Pell Grant loans, received a few tiny scholarships, and held various jobs while attending college. He claims that in addition to his federal student loans, he had to take out $26,000 in additional student loans. He enrolled in the income-based repayment plan and adhered to it religiously for seven years.
Garten claims it would have taken him at least 20 years to pay off the $21,000 in loans he still owes.
He claimed that it has thus far kept him from reaching important life milestones. “There is no way I could afford to start a family,” the speaker said. “I couldn’t even fathom the concept of saving enough money for a down payment on a house.”
Garten claims that every part of his life is impacted by his student loan debt, and that Biden’s plan to cancel them “would change everything for me.”
He anticipates paying off the outstanding balance after receiving the full $20,000 in forgiveness to be debt-free.
I intend to purchase a new vehicle with guarantees and a promise of dependability for the near future, he declared. “It will be the biggest thing I’ve ever bought, and I see it as a substantial investment in my future. Where I previously had none, the forgiveness of my college loans gives me hope for the future.”
56-year-old John Visser resides in Dallas, Texas.
Progressive Democratic candidate Visser disagrees with Biden’s choice. He declared that “handouts for persons with financial challenges” are unacceptable.
He questioned, “Why did they borrow money in the first place if they couldn’t pay it back?”
According to Visser, his partner died 12 years ago, leaving him with a single income family and debts he was unable to pay on his own.
“I made some difficult decisions, established a strict spending plan, and paid off the debt as quickly as I could. Why shouldn’t debtors of student loans have access to a comparable plan? They ought to be able to manage their funds if they attended college “he said.
In the late 1980s, Visser enlisted in the US Army in order to qualify for the GI Bill benefits that assist qualified veterans with paying for their education or training as well as the Army College Fund, an enlistment incentive option. While working full-time, Visser believes the advantages he received assisted in financing his college education.
He said, “It seems somewhat unfair that some of my taxes are now used to pay for others who took an easier way to their degrees with little contribution to society.”
The 31-year-old Rachel Clark lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Clark was the first member of her family to complete a four-year university degree. She had experienced poverty as a child and found it difficult to imagine going away to college. The notion of her eldest daughter leaving the house “terrified” her mother, who was not informed about the financial help procedure, Clark added.
When Clark submitted her Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), she claims she was surprised to see that her expected family contribution was 0.
Clark obtained both subsidised and unsubsidized loans during her first year of college to cover the remaining costs of her tuition and university fees, including those for books, supplies, and lodging. She maintained a full-time job while in college to support herself, but occasionally that hurt her grades. She was able to graduate with a 3.4 GPA, according to Clark, which was a miracle.
She added, “I almost immediately entered the profession of early childhood education and found that my positive expectations of my future work were just as depressing as my ideals of college were.
As part of her income-driven repayment plan, Clark, who has been working as an instructor for almost ten years, has been paying down her debt with instalments that average less than $100 per month.
“I once done the math and discovered that there is a very good chance I would pass away before repaying my education loans. I can finally breathe now that my student loan burden is gone “She spoke.
The fact that she won’t have to continue to sink under student loan debt makes Clark feel “so liberated,” she continued.