FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/06/2022
CONTACT: Natalia Abrams email@example.com
Cody Hounanian firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEMENT: Biden admin extends student loan payment pause as calls for debt cancellation grow
Hundreds of thousands of SDCC supporters took action calling on the President to extend the payment pause, but this plan would not provide the lasting relief families need. SDCC calls on President Joe Biden to take the necessary step of broad-based student debt cancellation by executive action.
Today, the Biden Administration announced they are extending the pause on payments and interest for federally-held student loans until the end of August. The plan would follow a months-long campaign by thousands of SDCC supporters calling for an extension until permanent debt cancellation is secured. Unfortunately, this extension falls short of the relief Senate and House education chairs, SDCC, and ally organizations called on the President to enact.
Ultimately, temporary relief isn’t enough to overcome the harm caused by the pandemic and growing inflation, and it certainly doesn’t address the historic student debt crisis. That is we call on President Biden to permanently cancel student debt as a long-term solution to this problem. We are joined by over 2 million supporters who have taken action in support of debt cancellation since the pandemic began -- including a march in Washington D.C. and petition delivery at the White House on Monday.
"We recognize that extending the payment pause is important to borrowers struggling to shoulder the harm caused by the pandemic, economic shocks, and inflation. However, President Biden's piecemeal, short term approach is not enough to meet these challenging times," said Natalia Abrams, President & Founder. "The President has an opportunity to pass bold, meaningful relief instead of band-aid measures. We urge the President to consider the transformative effect permanent student debt cancellation would have for individuals, their families, and the economy.” “Another payment pause extension is a testament to the hard work of millions of Americans who are leading an unprecedented movement to address the student debt crisis. They have pushed the President to better understand their struggles and this is a sign that he is listening. But, there is much more work to be done to secure additional relief and cancel student debt -- we will continue to echo the voices of our supporters until we get it done,” said Cody Hounanian, Executive Director.
Today's announcement also includes a "fresh start" initiative that puts thousands of borrowers in delinquency and loan default back into good standing. This is good news for families who were in financial distress before the pandemic began or have struggled to manage the blows caused by the changing economy. Experts, including the Federal Reserve, warned of a wave of new student loan defaults that would set families back even further. Fresh start is a step in the right direction, but permanent debt cancellation is the only enduring relief that gives families the financial freedom needed to thrive long into the future.
SDCC recently joined over 200 groups in a letter urging President Biden to extend the pause and cancel student debt. This letter was followed by letters from Senate education committee chair Senator Patty Murray and House education committee chair Rep. Bobby Scott calling for an extension of payment relief due to rising inflation and the lack of progress in fixing the broken student loan system.