Democrats call for student loan forgiveness but GOP wary

As millions of Americans deal with the financial impact of student loan debt, many are watching what Congress might do about monthly payments or even loan forgiveness.

Amanda Deller happily works as a gym manager and CrossFit coach in Annapolis. But she has something weighing her down: a $600 per month payment on her student loan.

"It does add stress in wanting to buy a house or wanting to find a new apartment or a better apartment, it takes a big part of my paycheck." 

Deller is part of the 54% of federal student loan recipients with $20,000 in debt or less; 7% of borrowers have more than $100,000; 39% fall in between. 

Help could be on the way. President-elect Joe Biden is calling on Congress to take immediate legislative action to forgive $10,000 per borrower. 

"It's holding people up there in real trouble," Biden said. "They're having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent — those kind of decisions."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and other progressives are calling on Biden to take executive action and forgive $50,000.

But the top Republican in the house is not expressing support. 

"I think getting the economy back working again is the best way of moving forward on how to deal with anyone's debt," Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, said.

Proponents say forgiving debt would boost the economy and increase home purchases. Opponents say forgiveness would disproportionately help people at the top, who likely have advanced degrees. They also say college is worth the cost, as workers with a bachelor's degree earn nearly $1 million more during their career compared to those with a high school diploma. 

Deller told Fox News that she'd be happy to receive help. 

"I would probably look into buying a house, honestly. I'm getting close to 30 so I would like to settle down," Deller said. "But I think it's just unrealistic right now with that monthly payment." 

A limited student loan forgiveness plan is already available. Borrowers who work in public service or for a nonprofit and consistently make their payments for 10 years can have the balance of their loans forgiven.

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