Canceling Student Debt

The Case for Canceling Student Debt: A Look at the Numbers


There has been a growing debate on the possibility of canceling student debts in recent years as the need to ease the burden of millions of Americans has been voiced out. Having the ability to explain the extent of the monetary burden of student debt to the learners and the overall economy makes a powerful argument for cancellation. This blog will review the numbers and data that support the need for student debt forgiveness and analyze the possible advantages of such a policy.

The Extent of Student Loan Burden in the United States

To better understand the severity of the student debt situation, it is worthy to consider the size of the problem.

Total Student Debt: 

Currently, the outstanding student loan amount in the United States is over $1.7 trillion, which makes it the second largest type of consumer credit after mortgage.

Number of Borrowers: 

Currently, forty-five million people in the United States have student loans, which accounts for about one-seventh of the population.

Average Debt Load: 

The average borrower has $37,000 in student loan debt and many have even larger amounts. Graduate students are known to have debts that can even go up to $100,000 and above.

Impact on Individual Borrowers

The statistics reveal how student loans impact people’s financial status and decisions in life.

Repayment Struggles: 

The central bank noted that more than 11 percent of student loans are 90 days or more past due or in default. This shows that there is a high level of default on the repayment obligations.

Income-Driven Repayment Plans: 

Currently, 8 million borrowers are in IDR plans, which may take up to 20 to 25 years to complete, and in this process, they accumulate more interest.

Age Distribution: 

Even though student debt is considered to be belonging mostly to the young adults, now it is closer to 7. It will take a long time for student loans to be paid off; currently, 3 million borrowers are aged 50 or older.

Economic Implications

These impacts are not just limited to the economic aspect of student debt whereby the probability of homeownership, consumer expenditures, among other aspects of people’s lives are greatly influenced.

Reduced Consumer Spending: 

A study by the Brookings Institution reveals that high levels of student loans cut the spending of consumers mainly on the purchase of homes and cars. This kind of spending can in turn hamper economic growth because it is lower than the initial spending.

Delayed Homeownership: 

A recent study by The National Association of Realtors discovered that as many as 83% of non-homeowners whose ages are between 22-35 claimed that their student loan debt was the reason why they were not able to purchase a home. This trend may pose threats to the fluctuations of the housing market and possibly even the overall economy.

Career Choices: 

Finding themselves in a position to pay back the student loans, graduates are often compelled to take well-paid positions instead of public service or in such non-profitable sectors as art or education, which may not be financially rewarding but are more fulfilling to the individual and beneficial to the society.

Advantages of Eliminating Student Loans

The analysis of ways that could be used to cancel student debt shows that all these have potential positive effects on the economy and the society at large.

Increased Homeownership: 

The following are some of the reasons that explain how debt cancellation can increase homeownership rates: Research done by the National Association of Realtors states that if student debt was canceled, many young people would be in a position to get mortgages, boosting the market.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation:

Eliminating the responsibility of student loans may lead to more people starting to create new companies, thus creating more economic activity. Several researches have also indicated that members without any debts are likely to engage in entrepreneurship.

Financial Stability and Reduced Inequality: 

Eliminating student loan debts would positively impact the financial well being of millions of Americans and decrease the income gap. The Federal Reserve notes that wealth accumulation is significantly hindered by student debt, and eliminating this debt would help level the “playing” field.

Policy Proposals and Public Support

There are many policy suggestions that have been made in an attempt to solve the student debt problem, and there is increasing political will to advance major changes.

Legislative Proposals: 

Proposed legislations like the Student Debt Cancellation Act seek to eliminate up to $50,000 of student loans per eligible student. They are short-term and have long-term positive effects on the economy.

Public Opinion: 

Polls have repeatedly revealed broad public support for student debt relief. In a poll conducted by Data for Progress in 2021, 60% of American respondents agreed with the cancellation of up to $50,000 per borrower.

Bottom Line

When we consider the figures, the argument for eliminating student debt is rather straightforward. The size and effects of the debt on people and the economy suggest that monumental action is required. Eliminating student loan obligations may stimulate the economy, improve homeownership rates, encourage new business creation, and promote fairness. It is the policies that we support at Cancel Student Debt that help to ease this burden and build a better future for everyone. By understanding the data and its implications, we can work towards meaningful solutions that benefit individuals and society as a whole.