By Onyx Hunter
Biden announced plans to forgive $20,000 in student loans, this is projected to help 43 million students who have been lent money to attend college, but it will never be enough.
Only student loans which have been borrowed federally are forgiven with this legislation, those who borrowed privately or have had their debt transition from national to private are exempt and will receive no aid. Students who have paid off a portion of their debt and are below the maximum forgiveness will not receive reimbursements.
Debt has always been a fascination of American experience, in 1781 the U.S. incurred it’s first national debt to finance the war against the British and later, was even stomped out by President Andrew Jackson as a “National Curse,” a curse which would occur consecutively.
Debt was not a totally unique experience to the Government however, and gave form to credit. Credit became a concept of money lending, it was the evaluation of an individual through superficial factors like race, gender, and their morals for the purposes of lending them money. Later the system became more fair and instead relied on a linchpin of objective factors about how reliably and quickly an individual paid off loans, it was a system designed for people to incur debt and make an investment in themselves by doing it.
Black Americans in a post-bellum era would not be afforded the favor of many lenders. The lenders who would make deals with Black Americans would abuse their desperation to make ends meet, to lock them in perpetual debt. Stripping the Black Americans of their equity and leaving them without any sort of means to live comfortably.
According to the consumer finance protection bureau 90% of Black Americans who attend college take on federal loan student debt and more debt than their White classmates who have a turnover of 66% students. Only 51% of Asian American Students take on federal loan student debt but for loans larger than $30,000 they are more likely to get a private loan.
As it stands student loans are an issue all races deal with, but the racial inequity is clear, Black Americans are still at a disadvantage. The kiss to the wound that is debt forgiveness may help many students mid or post education, but it does not change generations of harm and turmoil. Biden’s Solution is temporary and concerned with capturing the young adult vote.
Student Debt should not exist at all and only serves to perpetually haunt the economic choices of those who must take on the debt or discourage higher education altogether. We cannot be content with ‘just enough.’ Americans should not be discouraged from seeking higher education. Jobs that require higher education are more common than they ever have been but college education is still a serious financial risk. We need more than forgiveness.