S02E04 – Should the federal government delay student loan payments again?

In this episode of Finding Common Battle Grounds, we discuss whether the federal government, which began delaying payments for student loans early in the pandemic, should again delay payments for student loans which are scheduled to resume in May 2022. Josh and Ryan agree that, in hindsight, a lot of what the government did for COVID-19 was problematic, though whether delaying the repayment of student loans is complicated. They also agree that, in general, people should pay back loans. They also agree that not every college major or undergraduate or graduate degree has the same earning potential. Josh and Ryan also agree that the federal loan program (not the Pell Grant program) has not been successful in helping under-privileged individuals and instead is primarily helping the middle class. They also discuss federal and state governments’ shift away from direct subsidies of higher education through tax dollars and toward an indirect subsidy through loans that ends up benefitting for-profit corporations in the process. They also agree that debtors are controlled by lenders (a biblical reference). Finally, they largely agree that a compromise moving forward might be to forgive some of the money people owe (probably not all the debt) but in return for stricter lending policies in the future that take into account students’ majors, their future earning potential, and the school they attend.

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