Student Loan Forgiveness: I’m Fine With It

President Biden recently unveiled his plan for student loan forgiveness after months of rumors. As expected many Americans are excited for the plan while others are upset. Of course those with student loans are happy because a nice percentage of them will be their loans completely paid off or have a large portion forgiven. Thus, they will have more money to spend on other parts of their lives. Yet, the Americans who either paid off their student loans off already, or never went to college are angry about the plan. I understand the arguments from both sides. I had student loans and worked multiple jobs to pay them off completely in 2019. I’m fine with the plan and I’ll explain why in this post.

Why I’m Fine With Student Loan Forgiveness

The first reason I’m fine with this plan because life isn’t fair. Should those who paid off their student loans recently or within the last year or two deserve some type of credit? I do think so. Is that going to happen? Nope. Is that fair? Not in the slightest. As I said in the first sentence, however, life isn’t fair. I didn’t take to social media to bemoan my dissatisfaction for receiving nothing for paying off my student loans prior. There was no reason for me to do that. I’m proud that I pushed myself to pay off those loans. I showed myself that I could accomplish huge goals when I make a plan and stick to it.

The second reason I’m fine with this plan because it will help many borrowers who couldn’t repay the money due to various reasons. Let’s be honest: Many of those borrowers shouldn’t have gone to college in the first place. Many student loan debtors didn’t finish and receive a degree. They would’ve been better off going to a technical school and learning a skill to get a job within one to two years. So you have these people with no degree and student loan debt working low-paying jobs and they couldn’t afford the repayments. It just makes sense to forgive their debt.

The final reason I’m fine with this because corporations get bailed out by the U.S. government so why not its citizens? During the Great Recessions the government bailed out both the big car companies and Wall Street. Yet, millions of homeowners lost their homes. If we as a country are going to use tax money to bail out a group I rather it be certain citizens instead of huge companies that made “Too Big To Fail” mistakes.

The Workers In The Vineyard

There’s a religious reason to accept student loan forgiveness. Let’s review the New Testament parable about The Workers In The Vineyard:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Matthew 20:1-16 NIV

What does this have to do with forgiving debt? Just as the late workers received a full day’s pay for doing less work, some borrowers are going to have their debts forgiven even though they took out their loans later or made less payments than those before them.

When I agreed to take out the student loan I agree to repay the lender no matter what. I didn’t expect the government to bail me out. Neither did the other loan borrowers. That wasn’t part of the agreement. However, the U.S. government had the ability to change the agreement whenever the country chose to do so. Just as the vineyard owner had control over how much he paid each worker, no matter how long or short their workday.

So don’t be jealous of those who had their loans forgiven. Don’t be upset you already paid off your loan. And don’t seek compensation or applause for your achievement. One day you may find yourself in a tough financial situation and seek kindness.

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