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Borrowers hopeful for federal student loan forgiveness

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - High student loan debt is causing millions of graduates to dump their new paychecks into paying off those loans.

Like many with debt, it’s on the forefront of Amber Hayes’ mind and wallet. She says it causes her to worry about paying for other essential necessities.

“What about gas in my car?” she asked. “What about my groceries? What about my phone bill?”

For many college graduates with student loan debt, these constant questions are their reality.

“I just want to make it to a day where I can pull up to Chick-fil-A and buy me a number one and don’t have to check my bank account after,” said Hayes.

She graduated from the University of Montevallo in 2020 with a degree in musical theatre. She has $68,000 worth of student loan debt, calling it difficult to deal with.

Marshall Clay, a partner and senior advisor at The Welch Group, says nationwide, there’s approximately $1.7 trillion in student loan debt currently owed.

Because so many people owe an incredible amount of money, there are tons of people paying close attention to the discussion surrounding federal student loan forgiveness.

“Help us out!” says Hayes. “Come on. We’re going to buy stuff, we’re going to put back into the country so why not help?”

No matter how much debt is forgiven, as Clay says, it doesn’t necessarily disappear.

“It’s not eliminated,” he adds. “It’s just transferred from the individual borrowers to the American taxpayer.”

Clay says he read this week if $10,000 of student loan debt was forgiven from everyone who owes back money, it would forgive around $320 billion.

It’s a big number and a big decision to be made. Even so, Hayes says it would be a big personal help to all those swimming in debt.

“If it does happen, I probably do a jump, a skip!” she adds.

President Joe Biden is expected to announce his decision on federal student loan relief within the next couple of weeks.

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