The other day, I wrote my first op-ed for The College Investor. I’m the editor-at-large. It was about Biden’s big move to cancel $10,000 of federal student loan debt.
When writing the piece, I remembered a time when I was burdened with $25,000 in student loans after graduating. I did everything I could to delay it, signing up for the 6-month grace period to give me time to pay it back but having the interest still accrue. I wanted it to go away.
It took me over a decade to finally pay it off. That $25,000 debt ballooned to a lot more, with the interest of course. I’d rather not do the calculations, as it’s all behind me now. But when I got close to paying it down, I started throwing hundreds more on top of the minimums. For the last two payments, I made a few thousand, just to be done.
So, I totally understand the frustration of new grads with a ton of debt and not enough income. College these days is ridiculously expensive anyway.
We conducted a survey at The College Investor and 63% said they’re for the decision, despite inflation at an all-time high.
Here’s a snippet of the article:
I was both surprised at this debt cancellation plan and happy for the low- to mid-income borrowers whose debt loads would suddenly be $10,000 lighter (or $20,000 if they have Pell Grants). Selfishly, I wished I was one of them. I thought about the decade I was bogged down with my own student debt.
Upon graduation, I became a public school teacher, so basically, I was poor. For years, I was only paying the minimum monthly amount—a few hundred—to cover the interest on my $25,000 principal balance. This is why it took me a decade, and trust me, I had a lot of time to regularly daydream about being debt-free and how it would affect my life. I could set up an emergency fund or use that money to start investing. But let’s be real, I was young, so I mostly wanted the extra funds for traveling and buying things.
By year 10, just when I couldn’t stomach the thought of this debt following me around for one more month, I saw I was approaching the final payments. It was the home stretch. I still remember sitting in front of my laptop on the day I made my last payment. After clicking “Pay Now” for the last time, I felt an emotional confetti sprinkling down from above, showering me with a newfound sense of freedom and elation.
I would imagine it’s the same sort of feeling that borrowers had when they first learned about Biden’s plan. Despite this win for them, not everyone is so enthusiastic.
Read the rest of my op-ed, published in The College Investor.