CNBC Readers React to the $10,000 Chance of Student Loan Forgiveness

The White House, Washington, DC

Joe Daniel Price | moments | Getty Images

Tens of millions of Americans are anxiously awaiting word from the Biden administration about what it plans to do about large-scale student loan forgiveness.

Recently, the White House was reported to be leaning toward a $10,000 per borrower cancellation plan (for those earning less than $150,000).

However, President Joe Biden is under intense pressure to do more.

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The top Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer of New York, along with the senator. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was paying him to forgive at least $50,000 for everyone.

The NAACP has also been vocal about how $10,000 won’t go far enough for black student loan borrowers, who have an average balance of more than $50,000 a few years after graduation.

Wisdom Cole, the national director of the union’s youth and college division, recently said on Twitter that eliminating just $10,000 would be a “slap in the face.”

At the same time, the idea of ​​student debt forgiveness infuriates many Americans, including those who never borrowed for their education or went to college. Some Republicans said they would try to block the president’s attempt to cancel the debt.

The widespread disagreement on this topic partly explains why it is difficult for the administration to decide how to proceed, especially with the midterm elections approaching.

CNBC asked readers how they felt about the White House’s $10,000 student debt forgiveness. Dozens of people wrote in.

That’s what four of them said. (Editor’s note: Answers have been modified lightly for clarity.)

“10,000 dollars… would be big for me”

Caleb Perkins, 29, student

Dayton, Ohio

I’ll owe about $50,000 by the time I graduate in December with a master’s degree in social work from Ohio University. I am a first generation university student of very humble origins. My mother is a high school graduate. My dad dropped out of high school, but both of them are some of the hardest workers I’ve ever known.

I started my higher education at Sinclair Community College here in Dayton and fortunately got a great scholarship from the school, as well as a full Bell scholarship due to my family’s income level. I finally graduated with a colleague in cybersecurity and computer forensics before moving on to Ohio University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

I see student loans as one of those necessary evils. It’s not that I wanted religion. Ten thousand dollars in forgiveness would be big for me. Is it as far as I’d like to see it? number. But it’s better than nothing and 20% off my total is still a little bit.

Live within your means

Stephen Berenson, 59, retired financial analyst

San Antonio

I write from the perspective of a parent who funded the education of two undergraduate children at private liberal arts colleges and later helped fund a master’s degree program for one of them. We did not take any student loans. Instead, we looked at schools where we knew the opportunity to fully fund their education could be met with our merit-based contribution and assistance.

The tolerance for student loans is a slap in the face for parents and students who have saved in college and select schools that were within our price points.

Stephen Berenson

retired financial analyst

Both children were accepted into two schools where merit-based assistance packages would not suffice, and we had some serious discussions along with the children’s disappointment when we collectively decided that the schools were above our financial means.

The tolerance for student loans is a slap in the face for parents and students who have saved in college and select schools that were within our price points. The government should promote the idea of ​​living within your means. I think that message is completely lost today.

“10,000 dollars will hardly affect what I owe.”

Kaylea Weiler, 36, partner in a law firm


I am an attorney who owes $125,000 in student loans. This is after making fixed payments during the 10 years you were out of school and making $25,000 during the interest-free hiatus over the past two years. Before the pause, the minimum payment required was $1,800 per month. I know that as a partner in a law firm now, I make more money than the average borrower, but I feel like I’m buried in debt with no options.

I’m a new mom and would love to be able to spend the baby and toddler years at home with them, but I can’t stand not to keep working. I had to take out loans because I am one of six children, and my parents were not able to pay for law school or support me financially while I was enrolled.

Ten thousand dollars will hardly affect what I owe. I feel conflicted as of writing this; There are others who are much worse than me. But this is my situation, and I know I am not alone.

“Cancel everything or do nothing”

Erin Bartlett, 42, teacher

Street. Paul, Minnesota

I’m totally amazed at the idea of ​​forgiving just $10,000. I’ve worked as a K-12 teacher in Minnesota for 19 years, and I only have about $50,000 left to pay. This debt holds them back. I am currently working two part time jobs in addition to my full time job to make ends meet.

I’m sick of America being one of the only places in the world where education isn’t free. If I could cancel all of my federal student loans, I could save money for retirement and wouldn’t need to work three jobs. Cancel everything or do nothing.

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