Listen up Joseph Robinette Biden. Before your presidency, you tempted Americans with the idea of having $10,000 in student loan debt canceled, and now? They want to collect.
Canceling this amount of debt is not just a dream, it's a possibility and a decision that may be made in the near future. As president, Joe Biden can forgive $10,000 in federal loans with an executive order, but whether he will commit to this action is still questionable.
So, we turned to you — the people whose lives could potentially be impacted by such an order — and asked the BuzzFeed Community how having $10,000 in student loan debt canceled would change their lives. Here are some of the most thought-provoking responses:
For this piece, BuzzFeed also utilized an anonymous form to respect the privacy of those who would rather not be named.
1."[Having $10,000 forgiven] would decrease my student loans by 50 percent, which will help me buy my first home to raise my daughter [in]. I want a stable environment for [her] — a dog, a playground in the backyard, a garden, and [the ability] to teach her how to grow her own plants and let her run around without disturbing downstairs neighbors. [We could even] live in a better school district."
2."I have $180K in loans, and I don't think I'll ever get out of debt. I make a good living, but, due to my debt, I live paycheck to paycheck and still have to borrow from my parents, and I'm 37. I feel like the only way out of this is full student loan debt forgiveness or getting hit by a bus."
3."I owe $115,000. Having $10,000 go straight to my loans would be a nice little drop in the water, but honestly, I would need a lot more than that. I think it's wild and predatory that private institutions can approve you for something they know you'll struggle immensely to pay off. I wasn't 18 yet when I had to get that bigass loan."
4."I am Latina and the first one in my family to get a high school diploma, bachelor’s, and lastly master's degree. I attended one of the colleges involved in the college admissions scandal. When I read how much these wealthy families paid to get their children into the school, my blood boiled. It is not fair that I had to drown myself in debt to get half as far as individuals who are privileged. Because of my debt, I will not be able to own a house. Because of my debt, I will not be able to put money away for a rainy day. Because of my debt, I will always be in debt."
5."There's this home buying program in Illinois, which provides down payment assistance and will pay off student loans that are less than $40,000. If $10,000 were forgiven, I could really and truly handle the [remaining] $12,000, and then I could have the rest paid AND have a home! Come on, Biden. SIGN. THAT. DOC."
6."I owe about $90K for an undergraduate degree and work in public education. With what I make, I'll basically never get this paid off. I'm almost 35 and have accepted that things like home ownership, marriage, and children aren't in the cards for me. They are luxuries I literally can't afford. $10K would mean I *might* see my debt to income ration even out enough before my 10-year-old Chevy with 130K miles on it kicks the bucket. That's it. That's my dream now. Not vacations, family, etc. Just a reliable, mid-priced sedan."
7."I've accumulated debt attending three schools over the course of five years, and [am] planning to return to school to receive my doctorate. So, what I currently owe, and what I will potentially owe, will be well over $100,000 when it's all said and done."
8."My husband and I have had to put a lot of things on hold in order to get our loans paid. Biden canceling $10K would allow us to be less aggressive and actually enjoy life again. Every extra penny goes towards debt, and we can’t just go out and do something without addressing our budget."
9."I am on the privileged end of the student loan hemisphere. While many, including my partner, friends, and family, are burdened with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, I sit with only $25,000 owed for my illustrious degree. For me, having $10,000 cut off my student loans would be an inch closer to financial freedom and a pressure-release to the tension in my shoulders when I think about the state of my credit score."
10."I owe $106,000 for a bachelor's degree in nursing, and, in the state I live in, defaulting on student loans will get your nursing license revoked. My student loan payments are more than my mortgage, utilities, and car payment combined. I love being a nurse, but I regret ever doing this. $10,000 will do nothing for me. The interest will eat that up."
11."Currently, I have $2,900 a month in expenses, including housing, transportation, utilities, groceries, and loans. To pay for everything, I have three jobs... Growing up, no one taught me about student loans or the results of taking them out. This debt is an everyday part of my life that stops me from buying anything that is not a necessity. Hopefully, if this $10,000 happens, I will be able to enjoy the money I make and relax."
12."I am the first in my family to get a bachelor's and master's. My mom was a factory worker with a high school education, and my dad was an iron worker and Long Haul truck driver who got his GED when he was 42. They valued education... I was told if I went to the best university I could get into, that I would get a job where paying off student loans wouldn't be a problem. That didn't turn out to be true. I was told that if I worked in higher education or non-profit work, that my student loans would be forgiven. That didn't turn out to be true."
13."I’ve been paying back my undergrad loans for over 10 years. I recently found out I’d paid about $30K of a $35K loan, and still owed…$31,000. The system is not OK."
14."Receiving $10,000 in student debt forgiveness would absolutely change my life. At the very beginning I owed a total of $12,000 in private loans and another $19,000 in federal loans, but I just feel like I can't make any headway on paying them off and finally be debt free. Between working in healthcare during a pandemic and having two natural disasters rip through my town and destroy my belongings within two years of each other, some student loan debt forgiveness would be so greatly appreciated and act as a light at the end of the tunnel."
15."I have about $20K in federal loans left, so it would cut that balance in half. I would still have $5K in private loans, but $15K feels so much more manageable than $25K. I’m 35, and I might be able to pay that off before I’m 40 or soon after. Maybe then I’ll be able to save up for a house instead of renting for literally the rest of my life."
16."I entered a PhD program very shortly after graduating college. I have kept my loans in deferment for the past five years, and I have not made any payments, in part because my chief income is a graduate student stipend that keeps me hovering around the poverty line. The job market in academia is atrocious right now, and I know that student loan payments will undoubtedly eat away at my monthly budget."
17."$10K off would leave me with about $3K left. My son is disabled and we pay $1,000/month in medical bills. I’m still not sure what we’re going to do when they start making us repay them again."
18."Honestly, not much would change. I owe around $85,000 for my graduate school education, so dropping that down to $75,000 is marginally impactful. In the meantime, I’m working in state government to take advantage of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which also means I’m making far less than my counterparts in the private sector and have to be on an income-based repayment plan. Canceling $10,000 would absolutely mean a lot for a lot of people. The more helpful long-term solution would be to tackle the predatory practice of student loans in the first place."
19."It would cut my loans in half and help me feel more comfortable with finally getting a newer car after 10 years with the same used car."
20."As a first generation college student, I didn’t have the luxury of being able to afford everything I desired. I went to a school that gave me scholarships, but I still had to take out loans. During school, I worked three jobs that amounted to me working 38 hours a week, so I was a full-time student and was working full time as well. I had to grow up and mature much more quickly than my peers, and having some debt forgiven would help ease the stress of me trying to find at least two jobs to be able to survive while making payments toward loans, rent, food, health insurance, and more."
21."Anything knocked off is welcome. I have about $8,000 I am in default on, so this for me would mean receiving a tax return and the capability to go back to school and get my next degree. I would be very thankful and grateful."
22."I have about $8,000 left in student loans. Having literally all of that wiped out would be a huge step for me to be able to actually ~save money~."
23."Because of grad school, I'll probably most likely be dead before my loans are paid off. $10K is nothing. I'm 44. They are not getting paid off anytime soon, and the promise of higher income with an MBA never materialized."
24."I live with leukemia and my husband lives with type 1 juvenile diabetes, so I really need a job that pays well (or at least a living wage) and has good benefits that we can rely on as we get older and our diseases catch up with us. But I still owe about $25,000 in student debt from my undergrad degree, and adding more debt is what's holding me back from pursuing a graduate degree, and there just aren't any good jobs available that'll pay the kind of wage I need."
25."That's less than half of what I still owe, almost 10 years after graduating. Less debt overall doesn't hurt, and I'll take it. But a more substantial cancelation would be beneficial, or better yet, cancel the damn interest for a few more years. Let us breathe and actually make some fucking progress for a change."
26."I'd be able to go back to grad school, get a higher-paying job, and start saving up money for a house or land. With $10,000 forgiven, I wouldn't be putting half of my paycheck into debt each month and would meet all my other financial goals so much faster. I was lucky; I graduated with about $28K in debt and got an OK-paying job. But being debt free on my salary for a few months? My retirement fund would increase, I could start investing, I'd bulk up my emergency fund so it's no longer just money to fly home to my parent's house, and I might even go to the doctor for once."
27."I graduated in 2008 and could only get part-time jobs. I deferred as much as I could until I got a decent full-time job years later, but I still owe about $9,000. With all of the interest accumulated, it feels like I’ll never get to the end. Not having to pay for the last year has been amazing, but I’m dreading that first payment coming up in October. I’m just ready to be done!"
28."It would be such a relief! I wouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck or accumulating a lot of credit card debt. It would mean being able to get the help I need from a dermatologist, functional medicine doctor, and a personal trainer/fitness classes instead of having to choose between them. It would change my life."
29."I’m still in college, and I’ll end up having less than 10K in debt once I’m done. Having that be erased would mean I could start a career with no guilt and a blank slate. I feel like I wouldn’t be starting behind."
30."Having $10,000 in debt forgiven would help me pay for my fiancé’s kidney transplant."
31."Cutting $10,000 off my student debt...would not change the plans I have for my life, but it would definitely speed up the process. The sooner I am not paying off debt, the sooner I can actually contribute to the economy in a real way."
32."I owe $80,000. It might not seem like a lot to receive $10,000 when I already owe so much, but every. single. bit. helps. $10,000 is like three years of work, and saving that, in this day and age, could mean everything. Especially since so many students are in debt... Having a slight bit of relief financially would help most of us recent graduates be able to breathe and choose between working ourselves to the bone and living situations comfortably."
33."I went into my field, not for the money but for my passion of helping others. As a psychologist, some places will be able to [pay] six figures, but the majority of organizations will only be able to offer about half that. My worth as a psychologist in today's world is invaluable; however, I cannot help but feel punished by my huge pile of debt... If taking $10,000 means a couple years of being able to give back to myself and my field, that would be a huge stress relief and reward."
34."I owe about $50,000... I want to be able to work around the globe and with a doctorate in international comparative information, I'll have the credentials to assist communities and work with others to help all students achieve their maximum potential. [But] I have extreme anxiety about getting my doctorate because I already owe so much money."
35."I'm honestly trying to provide financially for my mom. Having $10,000 would literally change and save my life! It would make paying [debt] back seem tangible, which, right now, it doesn't feel that way. My dad died 7–8 years ago at the age of 50, and he literally still had $10,000 in debt. If my student loans were cut, I could save money for me and my family to gain some sort of financial comfortability. Student loans run my life."
How would having student loan debt canceled impact your life? If you're comfortable sharing, let us know in the comments.
Share This Article
Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!