According to one poll, 1 in 10 borrowers cannot pay off their loans within the typical 10–20 year repayment term, implying that people may be carrying debt they acquired as teenagers well into their twenties or beyond.
Namely, 27% of respondents took out federal loans to pay for schooling. Of those who borrowed money from the government, 61% are still paying down their debts. In fact, the federal government owns 92% of all student debt in the United States.
The situation is similar with people who have been out of school for six to ten years. Namely, 76% of those who graduated or left school without obtaining a degree are still repaying their student debt.
Furthermore, many students are still repaying their loans way after the projected period. In fact, 54% of those who finished school 11 to 20 years ago and 42% of those who finished 21 years ago are still repaying their debts.
Regarding loan amounts, 45% of students who graduated 21 years ago and 43% of those who finished college 11 to 20 years ago owe between $10,000 and $49,999.
The results also suggest that those with student debt are more inclined to support loan forgiveness than those without debt (74% vs. 56%).
When specifically asked why the government should erase a student loan debt, 62% of respondents said it would boost the economy. Other reasons included reduced disparities, saving for retirement, and increasing family formation.
On the other hand, 37% of respondents who were against student loan forgiveness said that it would be unfair to those who have already repaid their loans and that it would encourage poor personal accountability.
Surprisingly, student loan forgiveness has the broadest support among high-income earners, as more than half of them (58%) are in favor of it, as opposed to low-income (40%) and middle-income (52%) earners.
When asked how to measure who would be eligible for student debt cancelation, the majority of respondents (33%) cited annual income as a base, while 19% feel that all debtors should be forgiven.