Five Americans in what a $ 50K student loan waiver would mean to them

President Joe Biden has said he wants to provide $ 10,000 for a student loan organization. Some Democrats want that number to be $ 50,000.


An estimated 43 million Americans owe $ 1.5 trillion in student loan debt, the largest economic impact.

Student debt has been shown to hinder the growth of small businesses, prevent young families from buying homes, delay marriages and prevent people from saving for retirement.

motionally, too, the consequences are wide. A 2017 study shows that students with debt are less likely to get the job they want, instead of prioritizing loan repayments. Adults report feeling frustrated with their student loan debt at higher rates. According to one study, 1 in 15 student loan recipients reported that they had considered suicide because of their debt.

But what would happen if everything disappeared or some of you at least?

President Joe Biden has promised to cancel $ 10,000 on student debt in the campaign. Many members of his team want him to have a great ambition. In February, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, and a number of Senate and House members asked Biden to cancel $ 50,000 on student loans from all borrowers.

Biden said he did not believe he had the authority to cancel such a debt. In April, his supervisors asked the Department of Education to write a memo on legal issues related to debt cancellation. While student debt relief may be left out of his annual budget, experts say it was probably because he was waiting for a report, not because the cancellation was completely out of the table. Meanwhile, student debt is still affecting the lives of many people across the country.

Steven Mewha, 36, grew up in a working Irish Scottish family in Philadelphia and is now a lawyer in Hawaii. His story of ancient American success, but not without challenges - or debt.

He graduated from Temple University and went into recession with an estimated debt of $ 40,000.

"I wanted to improve my health. I wanted to get out of the staff." Said Mewha. “Of course, I could have stayed home without going to college, working for $ 40,000 a year. But I wanted more. ”

Steven Mewha Courtesy of Steven Mewha

“I was fired from my first real job,” he said. After that, he got a job managing the movie theater, and his interest on loans continued to grow. In addition to student loans, he also had a large credit card debt, which he described as "a disgraceful college education criminal." He eventually decided to further his education and enrolled in a law school.

To do so, however, he had to incur additional debt. Although he worked at a law school and went to a public school, he now has about $ 190,000 in debt.

He now works as a lawyer, but has to pay more than $ 1,200 a month on his loans. That included the high cost of living in Hawaii, buying a house and having children that he felt were impossible before 40 years of age.

"Forgiveness of $ 50,000 in student loan debt will boost the economy in ways that are very difficult to calculate," he said. "I can live, I can really live - it would be an inspiration."

Jess Gawrych and Arielle Atherley, both 28, have met at Boston University and have been together ever since. After college, they both pursued a master's degree at George Washington University, Washington, D.C., where they now work.

Taken together, they have $ 278,000 in student loans, and together their payments are around $ 900 a month.

Both Gawrych and Atherley are the first college students from immigrant families. It was so important to go to college that when they were 18, they didn't think how much it cost them. Gawrych says he now sees the school as a mistake.

Jess and Arielle. Kindly Jessica Gawrych

"$ 10,000 doesn't feel like being honest," Gawrych said. "Especially because of some interest on loans, that would have been reduced."

Finishing the $ 100,000 "will help with the many common things people want in life," Atherley said, such as marriage, house, children. As their loan was put up for the epidemic, the couple was able to buy a car - something they could not afford with the extra monthly payments.

"I'm trying to control my expectations, but being able to save, even $ 100, $ 200, $ 300 a month, can make a big difference in the future."

Gladys Villegas-Ocampo

"I would not even begin to explain how grateful I would be if my debt was not forgiven," said Gladys Villegas-Ocampo, of Florida.

Villegas-Ocampo, 39, who was born in Ecuador and came to the United States as a child, says that when the bills come in every month - cars, rent, loans, insurance - he has to choose which one to pay.

Gladys Villegas-Ocampo politely Gladys Villegas-Ocampo

He initially enrolled in the college sometime after high school but was unable to complete his degree because he needed to work.

"I have lupus. I have to see a doctor almost every week, those fees come together," Vilegas-Ocampo said.

This year, a single mother will graduate after returning to complete her studies, hoping to find a lucrative job to support her family. You will graduate with more than $ 50,000 in student loan debt and a monthly payment of $ 336.

"Sometimes I feel really guilty," she said of the decision to go back to school. "I feel a lot of pressure to make sure I get a high-paying job so I can make the decision."

Getting a job, he said, "is not a desire to be able to buy the things I want."

"I need to get a job so I can earn enough money to be able to repay the loan."