Democrats tweet that student loans should be canceled, but Twitter applauds.
Here’s what you need to know.
Another week and another day a progressive congressman tweets at President Joe Biden to cancel student loans. This has happened before on many tweets, with the same message. This time it’s Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). In previous weeks, it was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). These members of Congress are sincere and want to ease the crushing burden of student debt for millions of Americans so they can get married, start families, buy homes and save for retirement. While Pressley’s tweet received plenty of likes, retweets and positive comments, there was a fair amount of pushback. Here’s a look at some of the critical comments on Twitter:
1. Congress wants student loans canceled, but Congress hasn’t passed any legislation
Tweets can’t do much for large-scale student loan forgiveness. Of course, they motivate the base and spread the message. (Shock Poll: Student Borrowers Think All Student Loans Will Be Forfeited By May). However, while progressive members of Congress want student loans forgiven, social media is a suboptimal way to achieve a positive outcome. It is important to make your voice heard, but without concrete action to support an online campaign, the efforts are relatively futile. The problem is that although Congress wants to cancel student loans, Congress has not passed any legislation. Democrats can blame obstructionist Republicans, but Democrats control Congress. There needs to be higher education reform that Congress can pass to make college more affordable. (This legislator thinks student loan forgiveness is a terrible idea.)
As one person tweeted in response, “We need someone in Congress – like YOUR district – who will do more than tweet about this.”
2. If Biden wanted to enact large-scale student loan cancellation, he would have done it already
Another Twitter user notes, “If this were to happen, it would have happened by now.” The tweets refer to Biden failing to enact large-scale student loan forgiveness despite calls from progressive members of Congress to do so. (Here is President Joe Biden’s position on canceling student loans). Biden has focused on targeted student loan cancellation rather than large-scale student loan cancellation. Since becoming president, for example, Biden has forgiven $15 billion in student loans. However, he asked Congress to cancel $10,000 in student loans for borrowers. If Biden was planning to enact large-scale student loan forgiveness through an executive order, he would have done so already. (The student loan forgiveness could be the reason the Democrats lose the midterm elections). He expressed doubts that he has the executive power to cancel student loans for all borrowers. Here’s what he said when asked at a White House press conference if he would cancel student loans. It comes at a time when 80 members of Congress want Biden to issue a memo on student loan forgiveness that could indicate whether Biden has the legal authority to enact full-scale student loan forgiveness. (Do you qualify for $5 billion in student loan forgiveness?)
3. If Biden cancels student loans, former student loan borrowers will want compensation
Proponents of large-scale student loan forgiveness want a one-time student loan forgiveness. In a perfect world, Biden (or Congress) would forgive all or most of the $1.7 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. (5 ways to get student loan forgiveness). This would be a major financial relief for current student borrowers. However, this would not help future student borrowers or student borrowers who have already paid off their student loans. (Here’s Who Won’t Get Student Loan Forgiveness). This does not please some members of the latter group. “When and if Biden cancels student loan debt, remember to send a refund to former federal student loan borrowers who worked hard to pay off their loans and delayed the same things you say current borrowers are delaying because they repay their loans.” Student borrowers who have paid off their student loans also want their student loans paid. Many worked two or three jobs and made other financial sacrifices to pay student loans. Will they be included in any large-scale student loan forgiveness?
Student loans: student loan cancellation or no student loan cancellation
Student loan forgiveness is a hot topic, with passionate supporters on either side of the argument. Supporters say the large-scale cancellation of student loans is long overdue and needed more than ever. Opponents say student loans are like any other debt and it is the borrower’s personal responsibility to repay the debt. Some want the president to act. Some want Congress to act. Others speculate that Biden would have canceled everyone’s student loans by now if he wanted to. (Here are 7 ways to get a lower student loan repayment). Some borrowers who have repaid student loans want to be repaid in the event of large-scale student loan forgiveness. Regardless of your stance on large-scale student loan cancellation, it is difficult to satisfy all voters, making it difficult to implement this policy without alienating a portion of the population. As borrowers wait for news on student loan forgiveness, the next catalyst is the end of student loan relief. Prepare now for the restart of student loan repayment.
Here are some smart options for paying off student loans faster: