The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

It wouldn’t make much of a difference for the nearly 30 million borrowers who owe more than $10,000. Many of them went to graduate school and owe hundreds of thousands.

It wouldn’t stimulate the economy. Student debt stops many from investing or buying property, which is a drag on the economy, but canceling a small amount of debt wouldn’t change that, experts say.

It wouldn’t target the most vulnerable borrowers. Canceling the same amount of debt for all doesn’t account for the fact that many Americans with student debt are also among the most well-educated and high-earning individuals.

It wouldn’t help future borrowers. “The problem with forgiving student debt is that every day we’re making new loans in this broken system,” says Adam Looney, an economist at the University of Utah. “You’ve not solved the problem.”