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Women would be among the biggest winners of student loan forgiveness.
That’s because around two-thirds of the country’s outstanding balance is carried by women.
White women student loan borrowers owe an average of $31,300, compared with $29,900 for White male borrowers.
Meanwhile, Black women borrowers owe an average of $37,600, versus $35,700 for Black male borrowers.
A growing number of Americans are bringing student loans into their golden years. And the payments pose a problem for many of them.
About 33% of student loan borrowers over the age of 65 are in default, and half of those older than 75 have fallen behind, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
The government can garnish a portion of a borrower’s Social Security check if they’re in default.
“To the extent that they rely on Social Security to pay for basic needs, it is unethical for the federal government to give with one hand and take back with the other,” said higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz.
It’s also many of the borrowers most burdened by student debt, including older Americans and women, who’ve suffered much of the financial fallout of the public health crisis.
“Debt cancellation would have a tremendous impact on those most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Alexis Goldstein, a senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform.