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Petition calling on Biden to cancel student debt gets more than 1 million signatures

Austin Hossfeld and his spouse, Hayley.

Photo: Austin Hossfeld

Every day, Austin Hossfeld varieties the identical phrases into Google: “Biden” and “student loans.”

“A lot of the times, it’s the same articles,” Austin, 26, mentioned. “I re-read them.

“At night time, I speak to my spouse about it.”

Like so many other Americans, the Carroll, Ohio, resident is eager for any new information on what President Joe Biden will decide to do, if anything, about the country’s $1.7 trillion outstanding student loan balance. Recently, Hossfeld’s online searching led him to a Change.org petition calling on the president to cancel all of that debt.

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He signed it. So have more than 1 million other people.

“It’s a no brainer to assist the lives of tens of millions of individuals,(*1*)group”>

“Numbers matter,” O’Brien said. “That’s what strikes politicians.”

Polling shows that two-thirds of Americans support some form of student loan forgiveness. Just 4 in 10, however, believe all the debt should be canceled.

Critics of student loan forgiveness argue that it wouldn’t significantly stimulate the economy, since college graduates tend to be higher earners who would likely redirect their monthly payments to savings rather than additional spending. Others say a jubilee would be unfair to those who’ve already paid off their student debt or never took out loans. Those borrowers “would possibly really feel that their frugality was being punished,” Noah Smith, a columnist for Bloomberg, recently wrote.

Advocates say that borrowers were already struggling before the public health crisis — with more than 1 in 4 borrowers in delinquency or default — and that after over a year of record-high unemployment levels, that pain has only worsened.  

How can you move forward in life with that kind of debt?

Christine Angelique

student loan borrower

“Before the Covid-19 public well being disaster started, student debt was already a drag on the nationwide financial system, weighing heaviest on Black and Latinx communities, in addition to ladies,” more than 400 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Psychological Association, wrote in a letter to the White House in April.

“Administrative debt cancellation will ship actual progress on your racial fairness, financial restoration, and Covid-19 reduction marketing campaign priorities.”

Hossfeld and his wife, Hayley, owe around $50,000 in student debt.

He graduated from Ohio Dominican University in 2017 with a degree in computer science, and now works as a technician in a lab. He finds the job dull, and wants to become a teacher instead.

But he’s scared to go back to school and take on more debt.

“I really feel caught,” he said.

He and his wife would also love to have a child, but they worry they won’t be able to afford the child-care and health expenses when they have to put $800 a month toward their student loans.

“Talk about stimulus,” Hossfeld said, if Biden forgave their debt.

“Eight hundred {dollars} a month further, for me, can be superb,” he said. “It would permit me to begin a household, and get a unique job.

“I dream about it.”

‘It’s been actually miserable’

Christine Angelique of Portland, Oregon, signed the Change.org petition after her mom forwarded it to her.

Her student debt steadiness is more than $168,000.

Since Angelique graduated in 2010 with a level in inside design from the Art Institute in Portland, she hasn’t been ready to land a full-time job. The chain of for-profit faculties has come below hearth for deceptive college students about their applications and profession outcomes.

“I ended up working a lot of part-time and seasonal jobs,” Angelique, 43, mentioned. “It’s been really depressing.”

In 2017, she filed for chapter due to her bank card debt, which she mentioned she’d amassed to cowl payments and necessities and not using a regular, enough paycheck. She wasn’t ready to discharge her student loans within the continuing.

Things have solely worsened within the pandemic. She was furloughed from her job at a resort in March, and has since been laid off. Some of her student loans are actually in default.

The six-figure debt leaves her feeling hopeless, although she is aware of she’s not alone.

“I’ve even commented to my mom, ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an increase in suicides,'” she mentioned. “It’s just the way you feel trapped.

“How can you progress ahead in life with that type of debt?”

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