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Image: Joe Biden
Joe Biden talks about student loan debt forgiveness at the White House on Aug. 24, 2022.Demetrius Freeman / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

Voters split on student loan forgiveness, new poll shows

NBC News poll finds higher support for forgiveness among those with student loans.


Forty-three percent of voters believe that President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan was a good idea, while 44% of voters say it was a bad idea, a September NBC News poll finds.

By party, 78% of Democrats call the plan a good idea, while only 11% of Republicans say the same. 34% of independent voters say it's a good idea and 49% of independents say it's a bad idea.

Biden announced his loan forgiveness plan at the end of August and it allows Pell Grant recipients who have loans to eliminate $20,000 of their remaining debt. It also allows for all student loan recipients who make under $125,000 per year to eliminate up to $10,000 of their remaining student debt.

Among voters who have student loans, which was about 17% of those surveyed, 69% agree that Biden's plan was a good idea, versus 22% of the same group who believed it was a bad idea.

Among voters who don't have student loans, or about 66% of those surveyed, only 36% agree that Biden's plan was a good idea. 48% of that group say that forgiving up to $20,000 in student loans is a bad idea.

Beyond asking voters about their opinions on student loan forgiveness, the survey also asked voters questions about their own experience with student loans.

The poll finds that among the 17% of respondents who do have student loans, 24% identified as Democrats, 13% identified as independents and 12% identified as Republicans.

The bulk of student debt holders also tends to be younger, the poll found. 31% of those who reported having student loans were age 18-34, 27% were age 35-49, 12% were age 50-64 and 2% were over the age of 65.

Students of color were also more likely to have student loans, with 33% of those who reported having student loans identifying as Black, 23% identifying as Hispanic or Latino and just 15% identifying as white.