Majority Of Americans Don’t Support Student Loan Debt Cancellation

Despite liberals cries for it, a new poll shows that most young Americans don't support total student loan debt cancellation.

By Erika Hanson | Published

Biden Admin Discreetly Changes Student Loan Relief Act, Making Millions Of Borrowers Inelligable For Forgiveness

debt cancellation

Student loan debt has long been rife with problems. Currently, the outstanding federal loan portfolio shows that over 43.4 million Americans currently owe student loan debt. The average balance owed sits around $37,000. Culminating into what is often touted as a student loan crisis, urging calls from Americans and lawmakers have pleaded with the White House to cancel this strenuous debt. But a new poll has produced counterintuitive findings, as it suggests that the majority of Americans, especially young adults, do not feel that debt cancellation is the right answer.

The Insitute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School conducted the national poll. The survey showed that only 38% of young Americans support a complete wipeout of student loan debt. This low support was actually an increase from the 33% of those polled last year on the same debt cancellation questionnaire. 

debt cancellation

The student loan survey polled young Americans on other aspects as well. Altogether, the vast majority do believe the government should address the crisis. However, there was no clear consensus as to what shape that aid should take. 27% favored the government assisting with repayment options without any debt cancellation, and 21% were found in favor of canceling the debt for those with the “most needs”. Furthermore, 13% said the government should not change the current policy in place.

That policy in place is currently working frivolously to cancel more than $17 billion in federal student loan debt for nearly 725,000 borrowers. This includes $8 billion for those who have become permanently disabled, and another $7 billion for borrowers enrolled in the public service loan forgiveness program, according to US News. These debt cancellation policies were enacted earlier this year concurrently with the Biden Administrations’ continued pause on federal student loan payments. 

The revelation that the majority of young Americans oppose complete debt cancellation for student loans contradicts what many progressive liberal legislators have lobbied for: complete cancellation. Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren have been key figures in the push to call on Biden to use his authority to erase more student loan debt. Similarly, young liberal heads like Ayanna Presley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have similarly led campaigns that are said to be influenced by young Americans, saying that the people want debt cancellation for the student loan sector.

debt cancellation

President Biden has been unwavering on his stance, regardless of the call from Congress. These members often argue that Biden has the executive authority to shell out student loan debt cancellation in the form of $50,000 payments for every federal student loan borrower who currently owes. But Biden has never backed a system-wide idea to cancel this debt. During his presidential campaign, he showed support for a proposal to wipe $10,000 off of debtors’ balances. 

Part of the reason Biden, and others, have been resistant to the pleas is because they feel it will disproportionately benefit the wealthy. A recent study from Brookings Institution concluded that nearly one-third of all current student loan debt is owed by the wealthiest 20% of households, and only 8% is owned by the bottom 20% percent of impoverished Americans. This might be a big factor as to why so many Americans, especially young progressives, are against complete student loan debt cancellation policies.