President Biden’s new student loan forgiveness plan has been plastered all over news headlines since it was announced. Some say the plan is too liberal. Some say the plan doesn’t do nearly enough for student loan borrowers. Whatever your take on the topic, it’s an important one to write about, that’s for sure. So, today’s writing prompt will center around this topic: student loan debt. Check out the full writing prompt below, along with my completed version of it, titled: To be Forgiven.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Forgive our debtors?
Today, write a fictional scene in which one or more characters have their student loans forgiven based on Biden’s current Student Loan Relief Plan. For writing inspiration, consider real-life stories of student loan borrowers, or use your own.
Here are a few resources you can and should read before you get started writing today:
Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt
To be Forgiven, by K.E. Creighton
A few months ago while I was at lunch with my coworker Tina, she casually told me how I could apply for the new student loan forgiveness plan. It was a memorable moment because as she was telling me about the application process, her mouth was full of semi-masticated beef coated in condiments, and the dill pickle protruding from the burger she was holding fell onto the rim of her nonrecyclable paper plate. But I had been anticipating the news she was half-heartedly sharing for years, so I asked her to repeat herself a few times.
Now I understand why Tina was more enthused about her mediocre burger than student loan forgiveness news that day.
After hours and hours of phone calls with impatient and judgy representatives who didn’t seem to know or care about what they were doing, and months of radio silence with no information, I received this thin envelope I’m holding in my hand in the mail, which I received delayed because it was sent to the address I was at a few months ago.
The letter inside this envelope is telling me $10,000 of the $102,689 I now owe on an original loan that was barely half that amount before outrageous and exploitative interest was applied to it for over a decade during tuition hikes, debilitating recessions caused by the greedy and irresponsible yet allegedly benevolent loan providers themselves, and stagnant or waning wages for occupations that suddenly required the advanced pricier degree I had to acquire with said loan— without benefits and increased rent and healthcare costs…
For a moment, I stand still as my thoughts and rage wander around loose. And I remain still because none of this is surprising, and I’ve learned how to endure the sting brought on by the hits of false hope.
I read the letter again.
The letter begins with, “Congratulations,” as if I’ve won a prize. It says I’ve been “forgiven,” as if I just received a divine message from omnipotent godlike mythical figures who can’t be seen or touched, and I am the lowly petty criminal who must be supplicant and appreciative of their insults and kiss their dirty feet. But the sender of this letter is the criminal entity that must sit in judgment. The real question is if they are beyond forgiveness.
I burn the envelope and its contents over the flame on my gas stove in my studio apartment. Then I start boiling water for ramen noodles before I open my computer to work again after I eat.
[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]
Notes on Completing this Writing Prompt
It is interesting that student loan borrowers are the ones being “forgiven” when it’s the lenders who were and still are predatory with their lending practices and have literally toppled economies and lives. Honestly, their practices are more than predatory, they’re evil, and potentially in need of divine intervention.
Sure, it’s good that something is happening to address the student loan debt crisis in the US, but it’s not enough or efficient. Why? Because predatory lenders are still out there and even encouraged, and their practices are not quelled but encouraged and normalized. And those taking the loans still bare all the burden and judgment of their predators’ beliefs and deeds.