GOP Governor Sununu Calls Student Debt Relief ‘Unfair’, Loan Cancellation ‘Illegal’

  • New Hampshire Governor Sununu said CNN’s State of the Union that he opposes the forgiveness of student loans.
  • He called the education debt relief “intrinsically unfair” and the cancellation of Biden’s loan “pretty illegal.”
  • New Hampshire residents have one of the highest student debt ratios in the country.

New Hampshire GOP Governor Chris Sununu said the CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that he opposes loan cancellation measures, despite the benefits the financial relief could bring to his constituents.

Sununu’s home state is ranked as having the highest student debt this year by personal finance site WalletHubwith an average of $34,085 in outstanding loans, according to the Education Data Initiative.

“I kind of take exception with individuals, especially in Washington, who say this is a student loan crisis,” Sununu told CNN’s Dana Bash. “What’s the crisis? People are getting a degree. They’re getting a job. We have more high-paying jobs than ever for young people. These are low-interest loans. They’ve been postponed for a few years. “

Nationally, the average federal student loan debt balance is $37,667, an amount that 83% of non-homeowners say prevents them from buying a home, according to the National Association of Realtors. Before the moratorium on student loan repayments put in place during the pandemic, the average monthly loan payment was $300.

“The average loan is – it’s high,” Sununu said. CNN. “It’s about $43,000 in America. That’s a lot of money. But you can write this check for $200 or $300 a month and pay it. One thing I looked at that was kind of interesting, we have – the average home loan in America is around $240,000, okay, five times – four or five times the student loan amount We have a home loan crisis, right? What about auto loans, are we going to pay off the auto loans next?

Federal student loans for undergraduates currently have an interest rate of 4.99% for the 2022-23 school yearwhile graduate students have interest rates of 6.54% or 7.54% for unsubsidized loans and PLUS. By comparison, the average interest rate for a new car is 4.07% and the average interest on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage is 5.08%.

A little bit less 10% of mortgage loans in 2020 were supported by loans from the Federal Housing Administration, while approximately 92% of student loans are organized by the Ministry of Education.

Before Bill Clinton’s administration, the federal government had no student loans, but debt now accounts for nearly 20% of all US government assets, according to a financial report 2020. In the event of a loan default, the government has extensive capabilities to recover its funds, including garnishing wages and tax returns. Student loans are also More difficult payable in the event of bankruptcy than other types of loans.

“[I]It’s inherently unfair, isn’t it?” Sununu said. CNN. “It’s about arbitrarily picking a group of individuals, and we’re going to arbitrarily cancel their debt with the stroke of a pen, which, again, doesn’t even go through Congress. It’s pretty illegal. That adds hundreds of billions of dollars at a time as we try to get inflation under control.This exacerbates the inflationary crisis.

While some legislators, largely Republicans, questioned the legality of President Biden’s action this week to write off between $10,000 and $20,000 in debt for federal borrowers earning less than $125,000, the White House argued the Higher Education Student Aid Opportunities Act of 2003 (“HEROES”) – first enacted in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks to provide relief from student loan requirements for specific periods of national emergency – “grant the Secretary [of Education] authority that could be used to implement a targeted loan cancellation program aimed at addressing the financial harm of the COVID-19 pandemic. »

Sununu representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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