Current and former Rochester graduates weigh in on Biden student loan forgiveness decision
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Student loan debt forgiveness is coming. Several sources tell the Associated Press President Biden will announce his decision Wednesday.
President Biden is expected to extend the pause on repayments for several months while forgiving loans for people who make a certain amount of money.
Biden is expected to forgive up to $10,000 dollars in federal student loans for many Americans earning less than $125,000 a year.
The plan also includes extending a pause on payments into January. Right now the nation’s federal student debt tops 1.6 trillion dollars.
“Getting back to a point where education is feasible for people and isn’t putting them in crippling debt and preventing them from excelling is the thing that we should be doing for most Americans,” Kyle Suero said.
Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan would likely eliminate student debt for millions of Americans.
“It’s putting money back in the pockets of middle-class working people that are going to inevitably stimulate the economy,” Suero said. “People are going to be able to buy more cars, and put down the down payment from the house that they want. And $10,000 is a nominal amount to most Americans.”
Suero graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from RIT in computing security in 2019, although he has federal loans he would not qualify for the forgiveness.
“It doesn’t apply to me at all, and it doesn’t really bother me that I’m going to have to pay,” Suero said. “I actually see it as a really good thing for the American economy.”
Shannon Betters graduated from Monroe Community College back in 1994 and said she gets both sides.
“I had at one-time student loans for from MCC. I paid those off,” Betters said.
Betters said she understands how those feel who paid their loans in full years ago, but she went back to school in 2019 to pursue a new degree, has new loans, and now supports the forgiveness plan.
“I see both sides of it. You know, personally, I would love the $10,000 to be removed,” Betters said. “My concern actually is for the younger generation, these kids that are graduating, they would have come out of high school taking the four years and taking the loans you know, if their parents couldn’t help them”
Betters said she knows this decision will anger some but said with the effects of the pandemic and the current job market, this could only help the economy.
“Consider the fact that these young adults, they really do deserve to enjoy life while they’re paying off their bills, just like we did.” Betters said. “It’s a different world. It really it truly is.”
The people News10NBC spoke with who are against this would not go on camera. But many told us they had paid off their own debt years ago.
Some of those against it said:
- “Pay your own loans I had to pay mine”
- “Don’t borrow money if you can’t pay it back!”
- “So he’s writing a check to the rest of us who did pay?”
There are many questions surrounding who qualifies and it’s also not clear whether there will be additional criteria for qualifying student loan forgiveness.
Again we are expecting that update Wednesday. Once we do learn more we will pass it along on air and online at whec.com.