By Weston Blasi
That was billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban giving his thoughts about the student loan-debt problem in the U.S. during a May interview with Insider . Cuban has said he supports the plan proposed by President Joe Biden that would cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower, and $20,000 for Pell grant recipients .
The comments from Cuban represent a stark contrast to his previous views on the student-debt crisis. In the past, Cuban has said that student-loan forgiveness could boost the economy, but he suggested that the problem should be fixed by addressing the “ ridiculous tuition fees ” from colleges and universities.
See also: What are Pell grants? Biden student loan forgiveness includes $20,000 for Pell grant recipients
“Forgiving the debt is the worst thing you can do,” Cuban said in 2015 . “Because all it does is bail out the universities.”
The billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks still maintains that forgiveness is just a temporary fix, and the United States needs to find a way to get tuition costs to manageable levels.
He also shared an idea on Twitter of creating a single, four-year, tuition-free college in every designated market area, which Cuban said would force high-cost universities to lower their total cost of attendance.
In 2014, Cuban said the student-debt crisis takes money out of the economy because those hampered with large loans, particularly younger borrowers, are making loans payments instead of using that money elsewhere.
See: Biden’s $10,000 student-loan-debt relief plan could mean 15 million borrowers owe nothing
“That’s the same money that, when you graduated, you used to move out of the house, or you went out and spent money that improved the economy and helped companies grow,” Cuban said at the time.
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In 2020, Biden campaigned on the idea of $10,000 of federal student loan forgiveness per borrower.
The comments from Cuban came prior to Biden officially sharing his administration’s student loan debt plan on Wednesday, which would cancel $10,000 in student loans for borrowers making under $125,000. Pell grant recipients would see $20,000 in federal student loans forgiven.
Payments on federal student loans have been paused since former President Donald Trump made the initial freeze in March 2020, and the pause has been extended by a combination of Trump and Biden a total of six times throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Biden announced on Twitter that the repayment pause will be extended a “final time” through Dec. 31, 2022.
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The student-loan payment pause impacts more than 43 million Americans, according to the latest data from the Education Department.
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In July, the Biden administration released several new proposed regulations that would help expand offerings for student loan forgiveness as it relates to American borrowers whose schools either closed or lied to them, or who are permanently disabled and for borrowers who currently work in public service.