Houstonians have mixed feelings about Biden's plan to forgive student loans

President Joe Biden announced his plan Wednesday to erase nearly $300 billion in student loan debt for Americans.

Those who make less than $125,000 a year, or families earning less $250,000 qualify for the loan forgiveness. Those eligible could see $10,000 in federal loan debt wiped away and Pell grant recipients would receive up to $20,000 in relief.

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An estimated 43 million people would benefit from the plan and nearly 20-million of them would have their student debt fully cancelled according to the White House.

The unprecedented move fulfills Biden's campaign promise.

"The burden is so heavy that even if you graduate, you may not have access to the middle-class life that the college degree once provided," Biden said Wednesday during the announcement.  

Many Houstonians were thrilled for the financial relief.

"When kids go to college today, it costs way more than when I went to college or when my parents went to college and as a result, that’s an unfair burden on them," said Jim McDermott.

"I wish I had that about two to three years ago. That definitely would’ve made me want to stay in school a little bit more," said Dave Rao.  

EXPLAINER: What student loans are eligible for forgiveness? Here's a breakdown

"I don't think we should go into debt for education, I think it’s unethical," said Amorae Times.

However, many others like Bonny Edwards, feel like the plan is unfair to those who've already paid off their loans or don't have any debt.

"If you took out the loans, you should pay them back," she said. "I feel like that was your responsibility that you took on, so it’s something that you should go ahead and follow through with."

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Mark Jones,  a political science professor at Rice University said there is still a price in having these loans forgiven.

"This isn’t free," Jones said. "This is coming from tax dollars so people, many of whom did not go to college, who pay taxes, will see that money transferred to these individuals."

Jones added the timing of the announcement falls right before the November elections. He believes Biden’s plan will ultimately be challenged in the courts.

"Republicans will challenge Biden’s authority to unilaterally discharge over $300 billion in debt with the stroke of a pen," he said. "Inflation is one of the top concerns that American voters have today and when you effectively wipe out $300 billion in debt, that makes people feel a lot wealthier and that means they’re going to go out and spend more, and that fuels inflation."