Biden's debt forgiveness plan is a step in the right direction, but it is seriously flawed.
First, Biden's plan does nothing for people who racked up student debt to attend for-profit colleges. We've known for a long time that the for-profit college industry has preyed on disadvantaged populations--people from low-income families, minorities, and first-generation college attendees. On average, students leave their for-profit institutions with more debt than they would have acquired had they attended a public university.
So why not extended student-loan forgiveness to people who took out loans to attend a for-profit institution?
Second, student debtors who enrolled at private universities get no relief under Biden's plan unless they attended a private HBCU. This makes no sense to me at all.
Why should students who studied at Xavier University, a Catholic university in New Orleans, get debt forgiveness, while students who attended Loyola University, another New Orleans Catholic school, receive no relief at all? Are students who attended HBCUs more worthy of assistance than students who attended other colleges and universities? I don't think so.
Finally, Vice President Biden's proposal gives no relief to people who took out private student loans. Let's remember the fact that the so-called Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 explicitly made private student-loans virtually nondischargeable in bankruptcy. Then-Senator Biden supported that bill and voted for it.
Why should a student who took out student loans from Wells Fargo or Sallie Mae be denied debt relief while students who took out federal loans get their student debt completely wiped out?
I support any legislation that brings assistance to overburdened student debtors--including plans proposed by Senator Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and former VP Biden. So Biden's plan, imperfect as it is, has my support.
But wouldn't be simpler and fairer to amend the Bankruptcy Code and allow beaten down debtors to shed their student loans in bankruptcy like any other nonsecured consumer debt--regardless of where they went to college?
After all, the bankruptcy judges have the authority and the expertise to reject bankruptcy claims that are fraudulent or brought by people who have the financial means to pay back their lawful debts.
In my view, Biden's student loan relief plan is not well thought out. If implemented, it will ignite bitter resentment from people who are burdened by college loans taken out to attend private universities or for-profit colleges. And it will undoubtedly offend people who took out private student loans that are nondischargeable in bankruptcy because of a law Joe Biden helped enact back in 2005.
|Joe Biden wants to forgive your student loans if you attended this Catholic university but not if you attended another Catholic school located in the same city.|