President-elect Joe Biden recently spoke out in favor of a bill to COVID relief this would include forgiveness of $ 10,000 of student loan debt for qualified Americans.

“We need a complete solution that looks forward and backward at the same time. – Matthew Chingos, Urban Institute Center on Education Data & Politics.

Student loans are a big and costly problem for millions of Americans. But is the simple loan forgiveness really the right relief? Or is there more we should be doing to keep student debt from building up in the first place?

Listen: Stephen Henderson speaks with experts and those affected by the student debt crash about what real relief would mean


Kevin Carey is the director of the educational policy program at New America. He recently wrote an editorial in the New York Times on the importance of tackling the causes of student debt.

People keep borrowing because they have to, ”Carey told Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today. “Even though people don’t have more money, colleges demand more money from parents. “

It is the underlying rise in higher education prices that is really causing the student debt crisis, ”says Carey. “We have added $ 1 billion in outstanding student loans in just over eleven years. “

Marie muhammad graduated from Wayne State University in 2017 with over $ 50,000 in student loan debt. She was making less than $ 15 an hour after graduating as a lab technician from Wayne State.

It can certainly be crippling, ”says Muhammad. “I don’t think anything I put in there will put a stop to the reimbursement. So it’s like, why bother?

Matthew Chingos is the director of Urban Institute Education Data Center & Politics. He is also co-author of the book “The Loan Game: The Rhetoric and the Reality of Student Debt”.

On what the cancellation of student debt would mean for the economy in the short term, Chingos says, “At the moment, I think the short answer is that it wouldn’t do much,” noting that there is currently a freeze on student loan payments. But he says that doesn’t mean structural reform isn’t necessary.

We need to do something about student debt, ”he said. “We need a complete solution that looks forward and backward at the same time. “

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