BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The clock is ticking and now millions of Americans are in for a rude awakening because they will have to start paying back their federal student loans on Feb. 1, 2022.
In March 2021, payments were put on hold due to the pandemic.
Many critics of President Joe Biden’s announcement the moratorium on student loan relief will soon come to an end say they wanted to have the pause extended — or even have the loans forgiven altogether.
“I’m upset, and I am sure that there are thousands of students across the U.S. that are upset and disappointed,” said Danielle Felder, a student at Virginia Tech. “Many thought that they were going to get help. Now, they have to pay it all back.”
Other students say young people voted Biden into office because of his promise to provide student loan forgiveness.
“When they were voting they were asking for a lot of things that young people really wanted like healthcare, student loan forgiveness, and jobs. Going back on this is really bad because young people are going to vote again, and this is going to affect the next election,” Betty Demissie, another Virginia Tech student, told WFXR News.
Student debt sits at $1.75 trillion, and at this point in his presidency, Biden has erased nearly $170 billion.
According to The Brooking Institute research center, it would cost $1.6 trillion to forgive all student loans.
A Virginia Tech political science professor, Dr. Karen Hult, says it is unfair to put this type of pressure on the President.
“To somehow imagine that there was going to continue to be a forgiveness of all student loans probably was not realistic. So, I think it is important to think of the broader picture, which is hard when one owes all that money,” said Dr. Hult.
She adds that one of the Biden’s goals is to put money back into the economy, meaning that sometime in the near future, the president could forgive more.
“You could imagine now for example putting together packages to focus on first providers, health care providers, and other types of people that may need help with their student loan debt,” said Dr. Hult.
However, when it comes to the President’s approval rating, Dr. Hult says not to be surprised if it continues to drop. He is in a situation where expectations were high.
Many government officials on Capitol Hill are asking Biden to rethink his decision.