By: Isabelle Mokotoff
The issue of student loans is one of the greatest tribulations to face young American millennials today. The cost of schooling is rising simultaneously with the necessity to obtain a higher education. Stuck in this paradoxical loop, many search for a legislative solution. U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican hailing from Tennessee, “advocated for automatic payroll deductions for student loan repayment” (Friedman 1). This means that, like taxes and Social Security, your federal student loan payments automatically could be deducted from your paycheck. While some rejoice and welcome this course of action, others are wary to accept it.
I believe this plan sparks high controversy for a good reason. On one hand, Alexander’s proposal could bring several advantages, which include ensuring that those with student debt do not fall behind on their payments. A default deduction from one’s paycheck would dramatically decrease the risk of loan default. With this mandatory payment, millennials will garner a much better average credit score than previous generations. However, several questions are still raised by this proposal. Many wonder about the fate of freelancers who have more variable employment and income, borrowers who lose their job and many more recent graduates who might not be able to reap the plan’s full benefits. While its potential is great, the plan needs to be meticulously examined and reworked before it can be put into action.
Localizing this issue to North Springs, my fellow students have many opinions on this issue. Avi Perlman notes, “I think Senator Lamar Alexander’s idea is good in theory. However, it doesn’t work for people who are living paycheck to paycheck. Rather, it is designed to benefit those who have a steady income and would not suffer from what is effectively another tax on their income. Honestly, I support an education system where education is cheaper, so we don’t really have to worry about these kinds of problems”. Another fellow Spartan, Lani McLendon, professes, “I think the bill is unfair. Basic necessities should be prioritized over student loans and this bill does not recognize that. Getting your student loan taken straight out of your paycheck could really hurt people that do live on the poverty line”. Many at North Springs plan to seek higher education after high school. That being the case, Spartans are hoping our elected officials act in a manner that is beneficial to our community as a whole.
Friedman, Zack. “Senator: Let’s Take Student Loan Payments From Your Paycheck.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 Feb. 2019, http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2019/02/13/ student-loan-repayment-paycheck/#7cfb89c3499c.