How federal student loan forgiveness is affecting people in the ArkLaTex
(KSLA) — Many students are heading back to college dorms throughout the country. At the same time, President Joe Biden announced new initiatives to address the so-called “student loan crisis.”
Biden is erasing $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those with incomes below $125,000 a year, or households that earn less than $250,000. He’s canceling an additional $10,000 for those who received federal Pell Grants to attend college.
According to CollegeBoard, $28,400 was the “average amount borrowed by 2019-20 bachelor’s degree recipients who took out loans to pay for college.”
KSLA asked viewers on Facebook, “What would it mean to you if your student loans were forgiven?”
Marisha Tousha said, “I THINK IF YOU MADE THE LOAN YOU SHOULD PAY IT BACK PERIOD. WE ALL HAVE DEBTS AN WE’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM I DON’T WANT PURE TRUE FREE BORN HARDWORKING AMERICAN CITIZEN TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY DEBTS THIER MINE TO ME THIS IS SERIOUSLY WRONG PERIOD.”
“The real question is - Do I get the money back that I spent repaying my student loans years ago????? Be responsible people. Pay your bills because nothing is free. It really blows my mind that some people are really ok with this,” Leslie Bussey Murray said.
Student loan debt is the second-highest consumer debt category after mortgages, according to the Education Data Initiative.
Quana Lewis said, “Forgive them. They send billions to other countries to bail them out, so why not help out Americans.”
“I paid mine off long ago, but I am excited for all of the ones who get this help with theirs,” Tiffany Harmon said. “I am all about this burden being lifted for so many. It will be a blessing to many.”
When it comes to demographics, NerdWallet reports that women and Black students are more likely to borrow more money for their education compared to their counterparts. People ages 35 to 49 have the most student debt.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) is reacting to Biden’s announcement:
“President Biden didn’t ‘forgive student debt,’ he chose to shift the burden of the well-off onto the backs of the 87 percent of Americans who chose to not go to college, already paid off their loans, or saved to not take them out in the first place. This decision is a spit in the face of Louisiana families who are struggling to get by. This is spending at least $300 billion we do not have which will make inflation worse. It does nothing to get at the root problem of the high price of education while costing $2,000 per taxpayer.”
Cassidy also cites Penn-Wharton Budget Model as saying that 87% of American adults have no student loans.
Penn-Wharton Budget Model, a nonpartisan and research-based initiative that provides economic analysis of public policy’s fiscal impact, published the following brief Tuesday, Aug. 23 on the eve of the president’s announcement:
Federal student loan debt by state
Federal student loan borrowers in Arkansas owe slightly less on average than borrowers nationwide.
- $13 billion in student loan debt belongs to Arkansas residents
- $33,333 is the average student loan debt
- 390,000 student borrowers live in Arkansas
- 51.2% of them are under the age of 35
- 13% of Arkansas residents have student loan debt
- Among the state’s indebted student borrowers, 17.8% owe less than $5,000
- 20.1% owe $20,000-$40,000 (average $28,517)
- 1.5% owe more than $200,000
The average student loan debt in Louisiana is on par with the rest of the nation, but the state’s population has a higher proportion of student borrowers.
- $22.5 billion in student loan debt belongs to Louisiana residents
- $34,525 is the average student loan debt
- 651,700 student borrowers live in Louisiana
- 52.8% of them are under the age of 35
- 14% of Louisiana residents have student loan debt
- Among Louisiana’s indebted student borrowers, 17.1% owe less than $5,000
- 19.8% owe $20,000-$40,000 (average $28,571)
- 1.9% owe more than $200,000
In Oklahoma, the average student debt is much lower and residents are less likely to have educational debt.
- $15.4 billion in student loan debt belongs to Oklahoma residents
- $31,525 is the average student loan debt
- 488,500 student borrowers live in Oklahoma
- 47.3% of them are under the age of 35
- 12.3% of Oklahoma residents have student loan debt
- Among Oklahoma’s indebted student borrowers, 17.9% owe less than $5,000
- 20.6% owe $20,000-$40,000 (average $28,529)
- 1.4% owe more than $200,000
Texans are less likely to have educational loan debt, and they owe less per borrower.
- $120 billion in student loan debt belongs to Texans
- $32,920 is the average student loan debt
- 3,645,200 student borrowers live in Texas
- 52.3% of them are under the age of 35
- 12.5% of Texas residents have student loan debt
- Among the state’s indebted student borrowers, 16.9% owe less than $5,000
- 20.3% owe $20,000-$40,000 (average $28,463)
- 1.6% owe more than $200,000
(Source: Education Data Initiative)
More quick facts about federal student loan debt by state
- At $54,945 per borrower, District of Columbia residents have the nation’s highest average federal student loan debt.
- D.C. also has the highest number of indebted student borrowers per capita, with 17.2% of residents in debt.
- North Dakota’s average federal student loan debt is $28,604, making it the only state where the average debt is less than $30,000.
- Hawaiians are the least likely to have student loans outstanding, with 8.4% of residents in debt.
- In every state (including D.C. and Puerto Rico), adults 25-34 years old are the largest indebted age group.
- Excluding D.C., Maryland borrowers have the highest average student loan debt.
- Aside from D.C. and Maryland, Georgia is the only place where the average student loan debt exceeds $40,000.
- Ohio residents are the most likely to have student loan debt among state residents (excluding DC).
- In the contiguous 48 states, Wyoming residents are the least likely to have student loan debt.
- Borrowers in North Dakota and Puerto Rico have the lowest average student loan debt.
- $4.3 billion in student loan debt is in other U.S. territories (excluding Puerto Rico).
(Source: Education Data Initiative)
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