Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in student debt and some members of the Millennial and Gen Z wonder whether they’ll ever pay off their loans. Student loans began as a well-intended government program to help increase America’s brainpower in the Cold War era, but as our guest this week describes, grew into a political and financial morass that’s swept up millions of people over the past 50 years.
The Department of Education announced on April 19 that at least 40,000 borrowers will be eligible for debt forgiveness through a loan forgiveness program for public servants, but as we discuss in this episode, the program is complicated and places an administrative burden on borrowers to comply with its rules.
Our guest this week is Josh Mitchell, a reporter who covers the economy and higher education for The Wall Street Journal, and author of The Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe. In the book, Mitchell draws alarming parallels to the housing crisis in the late 2000s, showing the catastrophic consequences student debt has had on families and the nation’s future.