Mar 19, 2021

Debt relief for some student loan borrowers

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The Biden administration is canceling debt for thousands of people with federal student loans from for-profit schools and students who were defrauded. Plus, despite forecasts of strong economic growth for the U.S. economy, Fed Chair Jerome Powell is taking a more cautious approach. And, the state of our bifurcated economy, where some households have managed to save more during the pandemic and others have had to borrow more and increase debt.

Segments From this episode

Fed policymakers agree we're in for a sharp spike in economic growth. But Chair Jerome Powell is still cautious in his messaging.

"What he stressed was that while the economy is growing faster than anybody thought possible this year, there are still chunks that are not functioning at all, particularly leisure and hospitality," Christopher Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said of Powell. Low said that Powell also stressed very high unemployment rates continue for communities of color. The Fed is taking inequity "quite seriously," Low said, and these rates indicate that the economy is nowhere near full employment.

Despite more savings, American households still have a lot of debt

Who's taking on debt for what reasons, and why paying it down is good for your financial and mental health.
Recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows the overall amount of household debt increased steadily in 2020.
Chainarong Prasertthai via Getty Images

Music from the episode

The team

Nicole Childers Executive Producer
Victoria Craig Producer, BBC
Stephen Ryan Producer, BBC
Jonathan Frewin Producer, BBC
Daniel Shin Producer
Jay Siebold Engineer
Brian Allison Engineer
Alex Schroeder Digital producer
Meredith Garretson Producer
Erika Soderstrom Producer/Director