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North Carolina senators draft bill that would limit student loan forgiveness

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President Biden is considering whether to issue an executive order that would forgive some student loan debt. He pointed out that any debt cancellation plan would include strict limits.

ANDREW HARNIK AP

North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, along with three other Republicans, introduced a bill that would prevent President Joe Biden from canceling student loan debt.

If passed, the Student Loans Accountability Act would prohibit the government from taking action to cancel or forgive outstanding balances, or portions of covered loan balances, according to a news release. The bill includes exemptions for existing federal student loan forgiveness programs, such as the Civil Service Loan Forgiveness and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

Canceling student loan debt would cause inflation rates to rise, prompt colleges and universities to raise tuition fees and add to the growing national debt, according to the wording of the bill.

According to Forbes, Congress will not pass the proposed legislation since Republicans do not control the House or Senate. However, although student loan repayments are currently on hold, large-scale student loan cancellation is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Although Burr and Tillis oppose student loan forgiveness, data shows that thousands of North Carolinas would benefit. According to data from the state Department of Justice, the majority of college students in North Carolina will graduate with student loan debt, and the average borrower “owes more than $25,000.”

Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of student loan forgiveness and the chances the Biden administration will fix the problem.

How Student Loan Forgiveness Would Benefit North Carolina Borrowers

According to the Center for Law and Social Policy, canceling student debt would result in many benefits, including:

  • Advance gender equity and racial wealth, as women hold more than two-thirds of all outstanding debt and black borrowers have higher average debt levels.

  • Add up to 1.5 million new jobs to the workforce.

  • Remove the burden of low-income people who are unable to make high monthly loan payments.

  • Freeing up funds for borrowers who have had to delay major life events, like starting a family or buying a home.

  • More access to higher education for low-income people.

Will student debt be cancelled?

President Biden is considering at least $10,000 in student loan forgiveness for borrowers, but it’s unclear who would qualify for the forgiveness, Forbes reported.

Progressive Democrats have backed up to $50,000 in student loan forgiveness, but Republican leaders in Congress have said potential future proposals will face an uphill battle.

Some pardon advocates have suggested Biden should use the power of the executive order to address the issue. But others, including Biden himself, have questioned the legality of that idea.

Observant journalist Mary Ramsey contributed to this story.

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Evan Moore is a duty reporter for the Charlotte Observer. He grew up in Denver, North Carolina, where he previously worked as a reporter for the Denver Citizen, and graduated from UNC Charlotte.