Taylor Swift superfan Javi, 21, earned a Bachelor's degree back in May, but like 44 million other Americans, feared what came next: A post-grad life drowning in student debt—$20,000, to be exact—and no job immediately lined up.
Downtrodden and a little desperate, Javi reached out to the one person he knew had both an interest in this country's student loan crisis AND enough money to ease his financial burden. "@taylorswift13," he tweeted, "please pay off my student loans rich queen 😔"
Swift hasn't responded, but Javi remains hopeful. He is one of dozens of Swifties to recently tag the You Need to Calm Down singer on social media seeking debt relief.
"Well it's worth a try @taylorswift13 can you pay back my student loans????" inquired @PinkGlittr.
@taylorswift13 are you feeling generous and can you help me pay off my student loan debt?— rebecca (@flynnxrapunzel) September 15, 2019
"@taylorswift13 are you feeling generous and can you help me pay off my student loan debt?" asked @flynnxrapunzel.
Though Swift has a history of helping fans out with their debt—in 2015, she sent $1,989 (a reference to her fifth album) to Rebekah Bortniker and this year, she donated over $6,000 CAD (around $4,800 USD) to help pay a Canadian fan's tuition fees—new requests have flooded in ever since comedian Hasan Minhaj testified at a House Committee on Financial Services's hearing on the student loan crisis. In a viral clip posted to Twitter, Minhaj is asked by Congressman Bill Posey what his thoughts are on the role of the U.S. Department of Education in managing its loans.
Minhaj, who dedicated an entire episode of his Netflix special Patriot Act to the topic, responds by saying, "I think it's a huge problem that the youth of America have to bombard their favorite rapper or pop musician and ask them to pay back their student loans. They're not even asking for selfies anymore."
"Are you a Swiftie?" Minhaj presses, "Because even her fans have gone up to her and said, 'Will you please pay back my student loans?'"
Doing my part to introduce Lil Uzi Vert to Congress. pic.twitter.com/m4YbRqUpNw— Hasan Minhaj (@hasanminhaj) September 12, 2019
Other celebrities have taken an interest in their fans's school loans. People magazine pulled together a slideshow of 14 rich and powerful people who've offered to help pay off student debt, including 21 Savage, Drake, Chrissy Teigen, and Nicki Minaj.
Minaj even promised more than 20 fans financial assistance, after responding to someone on Twitter who asked her if she wanted to pay their tuition. “Show me straight A’s that I can verify w/ur school and I’ll pay it," she said. "Who wants to join THAT contest?!?! Dead serious. Shld I set it up?”
Student loan debt in 2019 is the highest ever, and it's become a key issue for millennials voting in the 2020 presidential election. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 60 percent of all students will have some form of debt by graduation. There are more than 44 million borrowers who owe $1.5 trillion collectively. Borrowers in the class of 2017 owe $28,650 on average, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.
The average debt upon graduation is also higher for minority students. In 2012, the average debt upon graduation for black students was $29,344, compared to the national average of $25,640. And, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women, women take on more and larger student loans than men, holding nearly two-thirds of the outstanding student debt in the U.S.
he’s right and he should say it!!!! i’ve tweeted several celebrities to pay my student loans he isn’t lying!! also if @taylorswift13 wants to give me $30,000 i would be SO happy!!! https://t.co/f2VADmylmT— bill hader fan account (@jametrainn) September 12, 2019
Jamie, 22, graduated from college in May with $30,000 in debt. "My mom took out loans to help me with my tuition, so not only am I in debt, but also my mom [is in debt]," she tells ELLE.com "I know my parents cannot help pay my debts—and I don’t expect them to."
That's why she tweeted at Swift, under the handle @jametrainn. "When I really start thinking about how much money I owe, I just think how nice it would be if Beyoncé or Chris Evans would randomly decide to write me a check!" she says. "Other developed countries comparable to the U.S. do not have this issue."
"If a celebrity paid off my debt, then I could take on the loan my mom has," she adds. "It is just very overwhelming and never ending. I don’t understand why it’s so expensive and I don’t think it should be that way."
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