Impact of student loan forgiveness on the 2024 election: The $1.7 trillion question

Nearly 20% of Americans stated that student loans will play a significant role in their decision when voting in the upcoming presidential election, according to a survey conducted by Bankrate. The total student loan debt stands at $1.77 trillion owed by over 40 million borrowers, as reported by the Federal Reserve.

Formal President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have adopted contrasting strategies on handling student debt. While the Biden administration has initiated various student loan relief programs, including a recent announcement in May of $7.7 billion in forgiveness for undergraduate loan holders, amounting to a total forgiveness of $160 billion for almost 4.6 million borrowers.

Trump commended the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Biden’s loan forgiveness program last year. He has advocated for income-driven repayment plans that consider borrowers’ household income and family size, as reported by Forbes.

According to the survey results, 29% of respondents with student loans revealed that it would significantly impact their voting decisions this November.

Student loan debt:Who owes student loans in 2024?

College tuition and student loans on the rise

The costs of an undergraduate degree vary from $25,707 to over $218,000, depending on factors such as living arrangements and the institution attended, as per data from the Education Data Initiative.

Data from the Education Department indicates that the average tuition at a four-year private nonprofit university rose by 14% from fall 2010 to fall 2021.

With the increasing cost of college education, the national student loan balance has surged by 66% over the past decade, according to the Federal Reserve.

What to know:Biden’s latest student loan forgiveness plan raises questions for borrowers

Average student loan debt across states

For the class of 2020, average student loan debt ranges from $18,344 in Utah to $39,928 in New Hampshire, according to The Institute for College Access and Success.

Here is a breakdown of the average student loan debt by state for college graduates:

Majority of Americans view student loan debt as a national crisis

Bankrate’s survey revealed that 27% of Americans believe the government has not done enough to address student debt, with nearly a third considering it a national crisis.

Bankrate analyst Sarah Foster highlighted that over the years, borrowers have expressed the negative impact of debt on their financial lives in various polls, hindering their financial progress compared to previous generations.

The survey indicated that almost 25% of respondents with student loan debt do not foresee a time where they can fully pay off their accumulated debt.

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