WASHINGTON, D.C. As student loan payments restart after a three-year pause and after the Biden administration’s failed and illegal attempt to wipe out student debt, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) addresses the economic consequences of Biden’s failed leadership as well as the overwhelming, burdensome costs of higher education:

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at IWF, said: “The repayment of student loans will ratchet up the affordability crisis hitting millions of American households. The financial squeeze that borrowers face could lead to rippling impacts across the economy, including reduced spending which could slow the economy. Thanks to inflation, the price of everything is higher today than prior to the student loan payment pause. Look for middle and low-income households living paycheck-to-paycheck to make existential cuts into their already stretched budgets paring back on essentials like food, gas, and utilities. Instead of giving voters the false hope of student loan forgiveness, President Biden should have worked with conservatives to find bipartisan solutions that attack the rising costs of higher education while delivering relief to borrowers.”

According to Onwuka, in an economy with crippling inflation and after a three-year pause due to the pandemic, millions of borrowers are going to have to figure out how to afford these payments while still putting gas in their cars and food on the table. Read Onwuka’s four-step recommendations for borrowers who need to restart paying their loans.

According to Inez Stepman, a senior policy analyst at IWF, a student debt crisis is a burden on millions of Americans, but a bailout on the backs of taxpayers who didn’t go to college is regressive and unfair. 

“Millions of borrowers will attempt to resume payment on student loans for degrees that simply cost far too much for what they offered in return,” said Stepman. “The absurd rise in college cost over the last two decades and the credentialing treadmill our policy and cultural choices have created have put an entire generation under insurmountable debt before they even got started in the workforce. But it’s not fair to ask those who didn’t go to college or those who sacrificed to pay off their loans to foot the bill. Instead, universities, which benefited greatly from taxpayer-funded student loans and grants, should pay the bill for the mess they’ve created. We should tax university endowments to pay for student loan forgiveness for students.”

Read Stepman’s IWF Policy Focus, “Taxing Universities.”

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.
Independent Women’s Forum’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) aims to educate the public about how government policies impact people’s opportunities for economic development and upward mobility.