7 Ways Student Loan Debt Relief Could Have Benefitted Pets
The Biden administration’s plan has been blocked by SCOTUS. Here’s how pets’ lives could have been better if their parents had extra cash.
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The Supreme Court halted President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on June 30. Here’s how pets could have benefited from federal debt relief. On Friday, June 30, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that President Biden’s plan to forgive more than $400 million in student loan debt was unconstitutional.
For the past three years, tens of millions of Americans with student loans experienced a pause on their loan payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic — and plenty of pet parents benefited. Even a little extra money can go a long way toward helping our pets, as well as other pets in need.
Last August, Biden gave millions of Americans even more hope when he announced that he would forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for federal student loan borrowers, and up to $20,000 for Pell grant recipients, for borrowers who earn under $125,000 a year. The political backlash to his attempt at forgiveness was swift, however, and as recently as June 7, Biden continued to combat it by vetoing a bill that would repeal his plan.
As of right now, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling, student loan debt relief is a pipe dream for millions and, as of September 1, interest will begin accruing, with payments due October 1. Although President Biden has announced that his administration will take another path to providing relief for borrowers, but it might not come for a while. “This new path is legally sound, the president said in a statement Friday. “It’s going to take longer. And in my view, it's the best path that remains to student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible.”
The more than 40 million Americans who could have benefitted from this policy will not only not experience that relief (at least not for now), but they will not be able to put that money toward other things. According to a MarketWatch poll, “investing” was the top response among Twitter followers who were asked how they would spend their money if freed from student loan payments. Paying down other debts was a close second (not a shock).
We know that plenty of pet parents were also thinking about how some extra green could help their kids (aka pets). Parenting a pet isn’t cheap, but we also know that those expenses, when manageable for a parent, are more than worth it for the love of our pets.
Here are just eight ways pet parents (and potential pet parents) would have been able to take advantage if granted federal student loan-debt relief. And, should Biden’s plan come through and these pet parents ever find themselves with a little extra cash, these are still great ways to improve your pet’s life.
Adopt a Cat or Dog
Rescues and shelters across the country are struggling to take care of the many pets being left in their care, so it’s always worth considering bringing a pet into your life. Of course, adopting a pet is a big decision, and there’s plenty to consider, but we can speak from experience when we say it’s worth the cost. And we’ve got you covered — from the inside scoop on the adoption application process to convincing your partner to get on board, and beyond.
Become a Foster Parent
Maybe you’re not in a place to adopt but still want to use your resources to help your local animal shelter address the overflow they’re currently experiencing. Fostering is a great option that saves two lives: the animal you foster and the animal who the shelter can now make room for in their place. While most rescue organizations cover veterinary fees and other essentials like a crate and food, there are also other supplies and treats you’ll want to pick up yourself (here’s a list).
Donate to Shelters
Still not in a place to bring a pet into your home? Shelters and rescues will still welcome your donations! Whether it’s cash or a more creative option — such as donated supplies or fulfilled wish lists — you can help pets everywhere find their forever homes.
Buy Pet Insurance
In a country where many humans can’t afford health insurance, it’s understandable that they may not be able to swing insurance for their pets. But if you find yourself with some wiggle room, investing in pet insurance could be a smart move. Not all insurance companies are the right fit for you or your pet, so it’s important to do your research. Investing in a policy now could save you lots of money down the line.
Pamper Your Pup
Who doesn’t love a good spa day? Especially if your dog is a breed in particular need of upkeep, it may be worth visiting a professional groomer — or even investing in a better grooming kit and eco-friendly products to do it yourself. And grooming isn’t just for dogs, either — there are a number of tools out there that can help keep your cat looking fresh, too.
Employ Walkers, Sitters, and/or Daycare
Sometimes investing in your pet is also a way of investing in yourself, including your time and sanity! With extra money, you could get a dog walker, sitter or daycare so that you can get away — whether it’s for a few hours of alone time or a well-deserved vacation. You are also a busy person during the work day, and it’s healthy for your dog to get that extra-long walk in while you are beholden to your work desk.
Invest in Sustainable Products
Your pet may not know the difference between an eco-friendly poop bag and a regular one, but the earth would thank you for spending a little extra on recycled bags — not to mention eco-friendly dog beds, sustainable treats, and more.
Of course, spending extra on our pets may no longer be feasible without the possibility of student loan forgiveness, but even just a little money — or time and resources — can go a long way toward helping pets in need.
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Julie Zeilinger is a NYC-based writer and editor whose writing has been published in Marie Claire, Vox, HuffPost, Forbes, and other publications. She is also the author of two books: College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year (2014) and A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not a Dirty Word (2012). She is the mom to Baloo, a two-year-old Bichpoo and foster mom to dogs via Badass Animal Rescue.