Americans Want $10,000 Student Loan Forgiveness, But Prefer Cheaper College Instead

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A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans support canceling student loans.

Here’s what you need to know — and what it means for your student loans.

Student loans

A new NPR/Ipsos survey, which includes an oversample of student borrowers, offers some surprising insights, including:

Student Loan Cancellation

A slim majority of Americans support forgiving a $10,000 student loan. Support decreases as the amount of potential student loan forgiveness increases.

How do these numbers change when all respondents have student loans? An overwhelming majority supports all three proposals: $10,000 student loan forgiveness (84%), $50,000 student loan forgiveness (78%) and forgiveness of all student loans (68%).


Suspension of student loan payment

About 40% of Americans support extending the student loan payment break without student loan forgiveness.

Extend student loan payment pause + no student loan forgiveness: 42%

End student loan payment pause + no student loan cancellation: 41%

When asked to choose the ‘best way forward’, a slim majority (25%) said they preferred end student loan payment pause now without any student loan forgiveness.

The suspension of student loan payments, in effect since March 2020, ends August 31, 2022. President Joe Biden, who has forgiven $25 billion in student loans, said in late April that he would decide within weeks whether it was to enact large-scale cancellation of student loans. However, Biden has not commented publicly since and may delay any potential move until later this summer to coincide with the end of the student loan payment break.


Student Loan Forgiveness with Income Limit

Who qualifies for student loan forgiveness is a major topic as the Biden administration contemplates large-scale student loan forgiveness. Americans are indifferent to adding a potential income cap, such as $150,000 per student borrower, to large-scale student loan forgiveness.


Student Loan Forgiveness or Reduced Cost of College Education

How do Americans feel about canceling student loans versus reducing the cost of college education? Overwhelmingly, Americans would rather see Biden and policymakers cut the cost of education than forego student loans. For instance:

  • Prioritizing Lower Tuition Fees Over Canceling Student Loans: 82%

If there is student loan forgiveness, 65% of Americans would also prefer Biden to forgive student loans for borrowers with graduate student loans and undergraduate student loans.

With the end of temporary student loan relief approaching and no decision on large-scale student loan forgiveness approaching, your next immediate step is to plan for restarting student loan repayments. Understand all of your options and choose the best path based on your unique financial situation. Here are popular options for paying off student loans and saving money:


Student Loans: Related Reading

Senators propose major changes to student loan forgiveness

Department of Education Announces Major Overhaul of Student Loans Service

Navient agrees to forgive $3.5 million in student loans

How to qualify for $17 billion in student loan forgiveness

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