Half Of Americans Support Biden Forgiving $10,000 In Student Loans, Poll Finds


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A new poll shows 51% of Americans support the idea of President Joe Biden canceling $10,000 of student loan debt for each borrower, illustrating how split the public is regarding one of the president’s early campaign promises.

Key Facts

While the vast majority of Americans (82%) believe the more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt is a problem, according to an Economist/YouGov survey of 1,500 U.S. adults, 38% of respondents said they oppose providing $10,000 in debt forgiveness and 11% said they were unsure.

Of the slight majority of respondents who supported the proposal, 33% said they strongly supported it, while 25% of those who disagree with the loan forgiveness said they strongly opposed it.

Previous polls also show a large split on student loan forgiveness–last month a NPR/Ipsos survey found 82% of respondents believed the government should prioritize making college more affordableover forgiving student loans.

Key Background

On the campaign trail, Biden said if elected he would cancel a minimum of $10,000 of student debtper person, an idea first proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-NY). It would cancel out full balances for nearly one-third of all borrowers and wipe out $13 million of student loan debt across the board, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of California, Merced, and Princeton University that Warren shared in May. Other lawmakers–including Warren–have pushed Biden to forgive as much as $50,000 in debt per borrower, which would cancel all debt for an estimated 30 million borrowers. However, Biden has not yet announced any plans to forgive any amount of federal student loans, which have been paused since the pandemic began in 2020. He ruled out canceling $50,000 per borrower in April, and the following month the White House denied reports the president planned to imminently cancel $10,000 of student loans per person, saying that “no decisions have been made yet,” according to spokesman Vedant Patel.