Student loan debt is a major problem in this country. Millions of people are advocating for the government to step in and offer student loan forgiveness to help take care of the $1.53 trillion debt. There’s plenty of surveys and studies that found that this debt is impacting people’s lives directly. But the big question is whether or not they should actually do it.
This topic is controversial is being debated as we enter the 2020 election cycle. Most of the Democratic candidates have come out in favor of offering some type of student loan forgiveness. They hope to wipe out the entire debt (or most of it) while offering free college. Of course, nothing is ever really free, which is where the other part of the argument comes in.
President Trump hasn’t done much to help people struggling with student debt. In fact, he seems to be against helping anyone at all. He did help to expedite the student loan forgiveness program for disabled veterans, but for the rest of the able-bodied population, he feels that is not fair to put the burden on taxpayers. If you decided to go to college and take out a loan to do that, you’re expected to pay it back in full.
It’s difficult to tell where everyone is going to fall in line on this topic. Let’s take a real look at this topic from both sides and see the pros and cons of offering complete and total student loan forgiveness. If you’re sitting there was student loans, it’s a no-brainer for you. You definitely want the government to step in and wipe that out. But while we’re having the debate, we must be honest about the subject and realize there are several cons to offering it.
PRO: Helping Struggling Borrowers
This is the easy part of the debate. There are definitely people out there struggling under the weight of this problem. There are plenty of economic problems happening because of this debt. More young adults are living at home than ever before. They’re putting off major life decisions, such as getting married, having children, buying a home, and so much more. This is the heartbreaking part of the entire situation. People are just trying to make a better life for themselves.
CON: Not Everyone is in Need
We’re not $1.53 trillion in debt because of the lower or middle classes. There are millions of borrowers who were chasing after graduate and professional degrees. In order to afford that, they’ve taken out six-figure loans. There are many people who only have a few thousand dollars’ worth of student loan debt. This is especially true if they went to a community college for the first two years. When you consider that the largest bulk of the debt comes from people who ended up becoming doctors and lawyers, you can see that not all of it needs to be forgiven.
PRO: The Economy is Up and Down
It would appear as if the student loan debt problem really kicked off in the last decade. What else also happen in the last decade? The great recession. Everyone was going back to school to get a degree in the hopes that it would provide them with a better paying job. The unemployment rate during this time reached as high as 8%. That’s a massively high number of unemployed workers struggling to make it.
Schools use this to their advantage by promising massive hiring rates after graduating, but most of those stories were nothing more than average easements used to lure people back in. Of course, they couldn’t afford to go back to college because they weren’t working. This forced them to take out thousands of dollars in student loan debt.
CON: It’s Your Responsibility to Pay Back What You Borrow
If you took out student loan debt, you knew when you did that you are obligated to pay it back. You essentially borrowed money from the federal government so that you can go to school. You did that on your own. Why are so many people now trying to get out of paying their debt? Yes, we know that it’s causing some economic problems, but again that shouldn’t be put at the feet of everyone else.
Another thing happened during the great recession. Many companies were bailed out during the financial collapse. Billions of dollars were sent to companies who are essentially rewarded for their risky behavior. It taught them nothing and a massive burden was placed on the American people as our deficit double during this decade.