You may be wondering where does former Vice President Joe Biden stand on student loan debt? Most polls show that he’s a clear front-runner – but he has not said much about the student loan debt crisis. Here’s what we know:
Biden indicated that he supported the concept of free college, saying, “We need to commit to 16 years of free public education for all our children… We all know that 12 years of public education is not enough. As a nation, let’s make the same commitment to a college education today that we made to a high school education 100 years ago.” However, he did not offer a plan or any specifics to implement it.
Biden’s History on the Topic
We have to look to Biden’s’ past to get a sense of where he has stood historically on the issue.
- In 1998, Joe Biden supported a change that created an “undue hardship” standard for federal student loans, making it significantly more difficult for borrowers to discharge their federal student loans in bankruptcy. Biden continued to oppose efforts to loosen bankruptcy restrictions on student loans through 2001.
- MOST RECENTLY: In 2005, Biden supported a change in the “bankruptcy code” by applying the “undue hardship” standard. Before this, student loan debt was not treated much differently than other forms of consumer debt in bankruptcy. After this change, private student loans started rapidly expanding across college campuses
As Vice President, Biden was part of an administration that created new programs and protections for student loan borrowers including Borrower Defense to Repayment and Pay As You Earn, as well as greater oversight of the for-profit college industry.
Until he releases more detailed policy proposals to tackle student loan debt, all we have to go on are his prior positions as a lawmaker. We’ll just have to wait and see what else he comes up with.