As the federal student loan debt has risen to $1.71 trillion, U.S. President Joe Biden is actively seeking to cancel it with an ambitious economic plan. His Education Secretary is now preparing a memo on Biden’s legal authority to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt per student. While Democrats are encouraging $50,000, Republicans have expressed no support for student debt forgiveness. Whatever the amount invested, this plan would bring economic relief to over 40 million Americans.

How high is the student loan debt?

The federal student loan debt has reached a record $1,71 trillion this year according to Education Data. This brings the number of Americans with student loan debt to almost 43 million. On average, student loans for a bachelor’s degree amount to $30,000.

Partisan division

During his presidential campaign, U.S. President Joe Biden supported a $10,000 student debt relief per student. But the Democratic Party along with consumer rights advocates and student loan borrower activists are pushing him to cancel up to $50,000 through executive order. On the other side of the aisle, Republicans have shown no support for the package.

What happens if that legislation is enacted?

The stipulated amount of money would flow into borrowers’ bank accounts and bring relief to millions of Americans. Lance Lambert, a journalist for the American business magazine Fortune, said:

“Millions of Americans have been struggling with their student loan debt. And it’s caused them to delay their lives, delay buying homes, delay getting married, delay having kids.”

Although the package fails to address the larger issue of the student debt crisis, Lambert said that its benefits shouldn’t be overlooked.

What’s next?

Joe Biden will make a decision in the next few weeks. Whether he opts for an executive order will come down to his Education Secretary’s memo.

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