What if we canceled student loan debt?

student debt
How would you live differently if you didn’t have student loans?

President Joe Biden has once again extended the pandemic pause on federal student loan payments – this time until May 1. While campaigning for president, Biden pledged to cancel at least $10,000 of student debt per person

That has not yet happened. But the pause on student loan payments has reignited the debate on what to do about student loans. Student loan borrowers in the U.S. owe $1.7 trillion in federal and private loans. Some advocates and lawmakers are calling for Biden to forgive $50,000 per person, and others are advocating that student loans be forgiven altogether. 

MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two researchers about the debate on student loan debt and whether canceling debt is the best way to address the student debt crisis. 


  • Jalil Mustaffa Bishop is an assistant professor at Villanova University in Villanova, Pa. He researches how student loan debt affects Black borrowers. 

  • Jason Delisle is a senior policy fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. He studies higher education finance and student debt.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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