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Update: The Biden Administration has extended the pause on federal student loan repayments to be extended until August 31, 2022.
Student loan debt in America is a social catastrophe crippling millions with debt. Student loan debt has topped $1.7 trillion in recent years, making it the largest type of consumer debt outstanding other than mortgages. Consumers now owe more on their student loans than their credit cards. The average student loan borrower graduates with nearly $40,000 in debt. (Education Data Initiative)
According to the following report (referenced in a letter that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) sent to the White House) if Biden sticks to his plan to restart student loan payments, the budgets of more than 18 million borrowers will take a collective hit of roughly $7 billion per month, draining $85 billion from the U.S. economy next year. By contrast, if the president cancels $50,000 in student loan debt per person, which he has the legal authority to do, it could add more than $173 billion to the nation's GDP in the first year alone. (Common Dreams, 12-8-21)
In a letter to President Biden, the SBPC and over 200 organizations representing millions of students, workers, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, and people of faith, have called on the Biden administration to extend the pause on student loan payments. While Biden has extended the pause by 90 days, more needs to be done.
Even before the Covid 19 pandemic began, student debt was already dragging down the national economy. But now that weight is exacerbated by the toll of Covid 19.
What is extra harmful is that student debt cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. The fact that these loans are not dischargeable through bankruptcy is a uniquely harsh measure that even gambling and credit card debt is not subject to.
Bold action is needed to protect student borrowers.
During the Biden Presidential Campaign, Biden made 2 promises on canceling student debt. On the campaign trail, Biden said he would cancel $10,000 in student debt per person. He also said he would cancel debt for undergraduates from public colleges and historically black colleges and universities. (Business Insider, 4-7-21).
However, we have yet to see action on these promises. And the student loan moratorium ends August 31st, 2022.
Also, the biggest name in the student loan business, Navient, is also exiting the industry. This could be a portent of further turbulence ahead for borrowers.
It's time for action. We have posted letters and resolutions below calling for the President to take action.
We support Senator Elizabeth Warren and others in their demands for the President to use executive action to cancel student debt.
We also support Senator Durbin's bill to discharge loans in bankruptcy.
WE SUPPORT SENATOR DURBIN'S BILL TO DISCHARGE LOANS IN BANKRUPTCY
On August 7th, 2021, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor about the introduction of the FRESH START Through Bankruptcy Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill he introduced with U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) that would restore the ability for struggling borrowers to seek a bankruptcy discharge for federal student loans after a waiting period of ten years. Currently 45 million Americans hold more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Unlike most other types of debt, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy except in extremely rare circumstances.
S.2598 - FRESH START Through Bankruptcy Act
Durbin Speaks On New, Bipartisan Bill To Allow Federal Student Loan Borrowers To Discharge Loans In Bankruptcy (Richard Durbin United States Senator)
80+ Dems Tell Biden to Release Secret Memo on Student Debt Authority (Common Dreams, 1-26-22) PDF of Letter
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) letter to the White House PDF
More Than 200 Organizations Urge President Biden to Delay Restarting Student Loan Payments (Student Borrower Protection Center) PDF of Letter
Senator Warren Urges Department of Education to Remove Millions of Student Loan Borrowers from Default (Elizabeth Warren, 11-18-21) PDF of Letter
Over 415 organizations send letter urging President Biden to cancel student debt by executive action (Student Debt Crisis, 4-13-21)
RESOLUTIONS CALLING FOR THE PRESIDENT TO TAKE ACTION
H.Res.100 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Calling on the President of the United States to take executive action to broadly cancel Federal student loan debt
S.Res.46 - A resolution calling on the President of the United States to take executive action to broadly cancel Federal student loan debt
Student Loan Justice
A grassroots organization fighting for student loan justice.
A debtors' union fighting to cancel debts and defend millions of households.
"Join us to build a world where college is publicly funded, healthcare is universal and housing is guaranteed for all."
Biden Should Cancel Student Debt or Watch $85 Billion Evaporate From US Economy: Analysis (Common Dreams, 12-8-21)
We Applaud Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's Demands for Action on Student Debt (Earth Future Action)
Warren, Schumer, Pressley, Colleagues: President Biden Can and Should Use Executive Action to Cancel up to $50,000 in Federal Student Loan Debt Immediately (U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts)
Biden's campaign made 2 promises on canceling student debt. He hasn't done either. (Business Insider, 4-7-21)
OTHER EARTH FUTURE ACTION ARTICLES
Social Disaster USA 2021 - Millions of Americans Face Starvation and Poverty
Dead or Alive in Modern America - The Right to Exist
Life and Death in America (Audio)
Rent Crisis 2021