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Where the 2020 Presidential Candidates Actually Stand on Student Debt

In our efforts to bring you the latest updates on things that might impact your financial life, we may occasionally enter the political fray, covering candidates, bills, laws and more. Please note: SoFi does not endorse or take official positions on any candidates and the bills they may be sponsoring or proposing. We may occasionally support legislation that we believe would be beneficial to our members, and will make sure to call it out when we do. Our reporting otherwise is for informational purposes only, and shouldn’t be construed as an endorsement.



Editor’s note: This post was updated January 2020 to reflect current candidates.

You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a high-profile politician, these days, who’d disagree that a student debt crisis exists in the United States—or that the problem is still growing.

Some 43 million borrowers owe more than $1.5 trillion in federal government loans, according to numbers from the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid. That’s more than $33,000 per borrower on average.

And in the first quarter of 2019, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports 10.9% of aggregate student debt was 90-plus days delinquent or in default.

Finding solutions? That’s where the debate comes in.

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Sick of Student Loan Debt and Fed Up with the Shame: How Millennials Really Feel

There’s no sugar coating the current state of student loan debt. It is grim, especially when you read the numbers: Over 44 million Americans hold nearly $1.5 trillion in student debt. Much of the people who owe this debt are
millennials .

The millennial generation is constantly facing backlash, whether it is about the amount of student debt they owe or their “frivolous” spending habits on things like $5 coffees and avocado toast. However, maybe it is possible to have your avo toast and pay off your debt, too.

We wanted to find out how millennials really felt about the stereotypes against them and what they think about their student loan debt, so we polled over 1,000 millennials (ages 22-35)1 across the U.S. to get their opinions and found some surprising statistics.

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How Betsy DeVos’ Change to the Gainful Employment Rule May Affect You

In our efforts to bring you the latest updates on things that might impact your financial life, we may occasionally enter the political fray, covering candidates, bills, laws and more. Please note: SoFi does not endorse or take official positions on any candidates and the bills they may be sponsoring or proposing. We may occasionally support legislation that we believe would be beneficial to our members, and will make sure to call it out when we do. Our reporting otherwise is for informational purposes only, and shouldn’t be construed as an endorsement.



Betsy DeVos, the United States Secretary of Education, is nothing if not controversial. On July 1, 2019, she made a decision that has American citizens and politicians up in arms: She canceled the Gainful Employment Rule that President Obama put into effect in 2015. This rule held colleges to certain standards so that students would be more financially stable after graduating.

The Department of Education claims that the rule unfairly targeted for-profit schools. Rather than make adjustments to the regulations, Secretary DeVos chose to repeal the Gainful Employment Rule completely. This repeal will become effective July 1, 2020.

People may be divided on this issue, but most can agree that DeVos’ decision will impact not only the colleges that had to comply with the Gainful Employment Rule, but also students who attend those schools.

Are you curious about how this decision could affect you or your college-aged child? Read on to learn about what the Gainful Employment Rule accomplished, why DeVos appealed the rule, and how canceling the legislation could affect students.

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Pros & Cons of Paying off Student Loans Early

How many college graduates have responded to travel invitations or big life purchases with, “Sure, as soon as I pay off my student loans.” It’s a burden that can saddle a graduate for years after the last day of classes, but what if smart planning could erase that debt sooner rather than later?

But we should first mention that this member’s story is just an example we can learn from—and what worked for them might not work for someone else. Following in her footsteps might not yield the same results, because everyone’s finances and debt payoff strategy is different. But the key takeaways from these members’ repayment approaches might help if you’re currently crafting a plan to knock out your student debt.

Erika Jimenez, a member of the SoFi Community, is an MBA graduate who left grad school with around $50,000 in debt. At first, she said she was resigned to paying it off over the next nine to 10 years. But after paying for three years and only making a $10,000 dent in her total balance, she decided it was time to revisit her options.

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Changing Careers So Soon After Graduation

Do you find yourself dreading the commute to work in the mornings? Do you feel like the work you’re doing isn’t fulfilling or interesting, even though you majored in this very subject? While the prospect of a career change so early in your life can be scary, it may be worth it for your future success.

A job change requires an investment of time and possibly money. But if you’re unsatisfied and are looking for a new career, making the decision now is the first step toward the rest of your life.

Here are some things to consider as you think about changing jobs to a new field or industry.

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