We are going through rough economic times. Forgiving student loan debt will help increase economic consumption by young people and spur economic growth. Think of forgiving all student loan debt as a stimulus. Or perhaps we could just forgive 90% of the debt if people are concerned that since you agreed to it you should still owe some money. Obviously this would only apply to federal and state loans and not privately issued ones.
The fact is the cost of an education is too high and it is not the fault of the students of are subject to the ridiculously high rates it costs less to buy a home than the receive a BA. You can also get a 3.5% rate on a home verses nearly 8% rate on a student loan, something is very wrong with that. Banks are profiting off of people who have nothing graduating into a crappy economy their parents created to buss tables for less than minimum wage. Compared to our parents generation school now cost 80% more and that's not inflation that is the cost increase. This has caused an entire generation to be over a decade behind their parents generation and it shows in the economy no one is buying homes and no one will with that massive debt which has a ripple effect. Children will be put on hold vacations, new cars, the list goes on. To the old people who complain about this generation you need to look in the mirror it was your generation who created the current mess we are in and it was your poor parenting that created the youth we have blame yourself. Now we must forgive this debt to give this generation a chance to prosper but so many people are greedy I disagree well then we will are suffer mutually through this hell economy until wealth is passed on through death and we begin to look like the European economy which praises when it hits 2% growth.
Student loan debt does not have any collateral. Student made a promise to pay the loan back (by signing the loan documents), and with that money they got what they wanted (a degree in whatever they want), so it is the time now to full fill their obligation by paying the debt off completely.
Depending on the degree it should be however there must be a form of punishment interred upon the institutions selling these useless degrees if the person cannot find and acquire a job within a reasonable amount of time within a reasonable expectation of committing to a possible move.
One thing I find a lot of is people not wanting to move to the jobs they find. Being hired before the move is completely possible now-a-days and start-up funding from many corporations who understand the move itself is available if sought. There are a lot of options for this type of movement and it may require you move upto five hundred miles away from where you were to get established.
This sounds horrible but usually after a little experience you can move where you please, including back home, and it is no different than college for many students anyway who don't live or attend locally.
In the case of useless degrees such as a PhD in Medieval History the school should have to pay out to the recipient AND be forced to give them a useful in modern economy program plus pull the program from it's options permanently or limit the amount and have it come with a severe disclaimer. The upfront nature of degrees is questionable and the investments in them without backing with full knowledge of student failure being imminent is appalling.
As for everyone else who has a career in their field they should be forced to pay them back.