Student Loan Debt Relief: Americans Are Divided Across Party And Age Lines

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According to recent polls, a slim majority of Americans reportedly support President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel $10,000 in federal student loans for most borrowers, though that support is divided largely along party and demographic lines.

Key facts

Three studies all yielded comparable results: a Morning Consult/Politics June poll of 2,006 registered voters found 51% support for $10,000 pardoning, an NPR/Ipsos survey of 1,022 adults conducted last month found 55% of respondents supported the cancellation of up to $10,000 and a Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 adults in July found that 51% of Americans are in favor of that threshold.

An overwhelming majority of support comes from the left, as 72% of registered Democratic respondents to the Economist/YouGov poll 71% of Registered Democratic respondents to the Morning Consult/Politics survey supported $10,000 in forgiveness, compared with 28% and 31% among Republican respondents to the respective polls.

Support for the measure is similarly divided by age: 65% of the respondents of the Morning Consult/Politics survey of those aged 18 to 34 and 61% of those aged 35 to 44 want Biden to forgive $10,000 per borrower, compared to just 45% of those aged 45 to 64 and 39% over the age of 65.

A CNN/SSRS survey of 1,007 adults conducted in April and May also found that support for student loan forgiveness depends largely on age and political party.

About 56% of Democrats told CNN that overall the government is doing too little to address the problem compared to 33% of Republican respondents, while 61% of respondents under the age of 45 said the government isn’t doing enough , compared to 38% of respondents aged 45 and older.

key background

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Biden is eyeing $10,000 in federal student loans per person, likely for those whose annual salary falls below a cap of between $125,000 and $150,000. Many believe the timing of Biden’s decision is intended to rally support for Democrats ahead of the November midterm elections, especially among young voters. The moratorium on federal student loan repayments will expire on August 31, threatening a pause since the early days of the pandemic. Biden told reporters last month that he planned to make a decision on student loans by the end of August, though it’s unclear whether he was referring to extending the moratorium or announcing a forgiveness policy.

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$1.75 trillion. That’s how many Americans owed student loans at the end of the first quarter of 2022, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Read further

Student loan decision coming this month from Biden — here’s what we know (TBEN)