A new poll says that a majority of Americans support student loan cancellation.
Here’s what you need to know — and what it means for your student loans.
A new poll from NPR/Ipsos, which includes an oversample of student loan borrowers, offers some surprising insights, including:
Student loan cancellation
A narrow majority of Americans support $10,000 of student loan cancellation. Support drops as the amount of potential student loan cancellation increases.
- $10,000 of student loan cancellation: 55% support
- $50,000 of student loan cancellation: 47% support
- Cancel all student loans: 41% support
How do these numbers change when all respondents have student loans? An overwhelming majority support all three proposals: $10,000 of student loan cancellation (84%), $50,000 of student loan cancellation (78%) and canceling all student loans (68%).
Student loan payment pause
Approximately 40% of Americans support extending the student loan payment pause with no student loan cancellation.
Extend student loan payment pause + no student loan cancellation: 42%
End student loan payment pause + no student loan cancellation: 41%
When respondents were asked to choose the “best path forward,” a narrow plurality (25%) said they prefer to end the student loan payment pause now without any student loan forgiveness.
The student loan payment pause, which has been in effect since March 2020, ends on August 31, 2022. President Joe Biden, who has canceled $25 billion of student loans, said in late April that he would decide in a few weeks whether to enact wide-scale student loan cancellation. However, Biden hasn’t commented publicly since and could delay any potential decision until later this summer to coincide with the end of the student loan payment pause.
Student loan forgiveness with income caps
Who qualifies for student loan forgiveness is a major topic, as the Biden administration considers wide-scale student loan forgiveness. Americans are indifferent to adding a potential income cap, such as $150,000 per student loan borrower, to wide-scale student loan forgiveness.
- $10,000 student loan forgiveness + income cap: 52%
- $50,000 student loan forgiveness + income cap: 49%
- Total student loan forgiveness + income cap: 41%
Student loan forgiveness vs. lowering the cost of college
How do Americans feel about student loan forgiveness compared to lowering the cost of college? Overwhelmingly, Americans prefer that Biden and policymakers lower the cost of college rather than forgive student loans. For example:
- Prioritize lower tuition over student loan forgiveness: 82%
If there is student loan cancellation, 65% of Americans also prefer that Biden cancels student loans for borrowers with graduate student loans and undergraduate student loans.
With the end of temporary student loan relief approaching and no decision on wide-scale student loan cancellation, your immediate next step is to plan for the restart of student loan payments. Understand all your options and choose the best path based on your unique financial circumstances. Here are the popular options to pay off student loans and save money:
- Student loan refinancing (lower interest rate + lower payment)
- Income-driven repayment (lower payment)
- Student loan forgiveness (federal student loans)