Student loan borrowers have ‘lots of tools’ to pay off debt: Betsy DeVos
- Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has criticized Biden’s student loan forgiveness plans.
- She said borrowers have many options for repaying their debt without this relief.
- The Biden administration has criticized DeVos for his handling of student loans.
A former US education secretary has said she hopes President Joe Biden will end his student loan forgiveness plans.
Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the Department of Education under President Donald Trump, Told conservative podcast ‘The Daily Signal’ on Tuesday that she didn’t believe Trump had the power to write off student debt broadly and she hoped Biden would ‘follow the law’ and come to the same conclusion.
“When we talk about this notion of forgiving student loans, what we’re really talking about is benefiting those who don’t necessarily need it,” DeVos said. “And the people who will end up paying for it are those who never went to college, who didn’t take student loans, taxpayers who chose not to go to college and take student loans , or, frankly, many taxpayers who left and faithfully paid off their student loans.”
“And so, it’s a matter of fairness,” DeVos added. “It’s not fair to go and just give massive student loan forgiveness.”
The Washington Post reported that Biden is considering canceling $10,000 in student debt for federal borrowers earning less than $150,000 a year and that the announcement will likely be close to when student loan payments are expected to resume after August 31.
DeVos’s remarks on student loan relief are similar to those of many Republican lawmakers who have criticized a broad pardon, saying the policy would hurt the economy, cost taxpayers and benefit those who need it least.
DeVos also said that instead of canceling student debt, “there are a whole bunch of different income-based repayment plans” that borrowers could use, along with college dashboards that show costs and potential earnings for a particular field of study.
“So there are a lot of tools that students can use, and I would encourage all students to do that as they do their due diligence,” DeVos said.
Income-driven repayment plans, however, have been flawed for decades. While the idea of the plans is to give borrowers affordable monthly payments based on their income with the promise of loan forgiveness after at least 20 years of repayment, an NPR survey in April found that loan companies student loans were not tracking payments made by borrowers. the plans, which led them away from the path of forgiveness.
Biden’s education department has criticized DeVos’ handling of the student loan portfolio, particularly regarding targeted student loan relief for borrowers defrauded by for-profit schools. The relief, known as the Borrower’s Defense of Reimbursement, was supposed to discharge these borrowers’ debt once they submitted a claim, but DeVos has built up a huge backlog of these claims that has resulted in a rate 99% refusal.
Despite the Republican pushback, many Democratic lawmakers are keeping up the pressure on Biden to make a big deal out of forgiving student loans for those who struggle the most. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York wrote on Instagram over the weekend that “an arbitrary number” of relief would not be enough.
“People are getting addicted to splitting things in half, but there are policies where a halfway approach is kind of a waste because it’s not much better than nothing, and resources are better spent elsewhere,” said she declared. “We are pushing for people to actually experience the benefits of a policy.”