Debate over student loan forgiveness hinges on 2 numbers: $10,000 vs. $50,000

By: | February 19, 2021

For months, Democrats in Washington have been debating what to do about student loan debt. About 43 million borrowers owe $1.6 trillion in federal student loans. While some lawmakers have pushed for President Biden to forgive up to $50,000 per borrower via executive order, Biden has so far only expressed support for more limited forgiveness, of $10,000, through pandemic relief legislation.

Last week, the president and the White House clarified his stance. At the CNN town hall, Biden was asked if he would forgive up to $50,000 in debt. The president’s reply: “I will not make that happen.” He went on to say, “I understand the impact of debt, and it can be debilitating. I am prepared to write off the $10,000 debt but not $50 [thousand], because I don’t think I have the authority to do it.”

The sticking points between the $10,000 and $50,000 proposals revolve around which borrowers would benefit most, and the legality of forgiving student debt through legislation versus through executive action.

Read more from NPR.

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