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STATEMENT: Biden Takes Historic Action to Cancel Student Debt, Advocates Call for Additional Relief

August 24, 2022

President Biden Takes Historic Action to Cancel Student Debt, Advocates Call for Additional Relief

We applaud President Biden for being the first President in history to implement broad-based student debt cancellation. While we recognize that this action will benefit millions of families, we are concerned that the limited amount of relief ($10,000 or $20,000) and income cap ($125,000 per year) will block many struggling borrowers from having their debt canceled. We firmly believe that the President has the power to go further; SDCC urges President Biden to cancel more debt automatically to ensure lower-income and working-class families receive meaningful support, fully invest in addressing racial equity issues, and maximize the positive economic effects of debt cancellation. 

Today’s announcement also includes an extension of the payment pause for federal student loans until December 31, 2022. The payment pause has been a critical financial lifeline, and it will continue to be as families struggle with inflation and skyrocketing prices for essentials like food and gas. However, it is only a temporary bandage. This plan goes further by permanently canceling debt for some and holds the door open for future relief that will free more Americans from this debt.

“Today’s announcement marks a historic moment and critical first step in the long fight to end the student debt crisis. Broad-based student debt cancellation will free millions of Americans to invest in their futures, support their families, and contribute to their communities and the economy. While this announcement is a major win for many, it is important to stress that $10,000 will leave many others still crushed by debt and important details will determine who has access to much-needed relief,” said Natalia Abrams, President & Founder of Student Debt Crisis Center. “We will continue to fight to support families with large debts, to further address racial equity issues, and to end the student debt crisis once and for all. SDCC, and this movement, would not be here without the support of two-million people. Together we are celebrating this win and preparing for more work ahead.” “We applaud the President for taking a critical first step in the right direction. At the same time, we believe it is important to recognize that millions of everyday people, hundreds of organizations, and dozens of allies in Congress worked tirelessly to push our movement this far. Today’s student debt cancellation announcement is the direct result of grassroots advocacy by hardworking people,” said Cody Hounanian, Executive Director of Student Debt Crisis Center.

SDCC plans to address the President’s debt cancellation announcement Thursday, August 25th at its 10th Anniversary Event. The virtual event will include keynote speakers Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren. A panel of everyday borrowers and student loan policy experts explain where the movement to cancel debt goes from here. The event is from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET and is open to the public and the press. Register here >>.

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Student Debt Crisis is a nationwide advocacy group with over 2,000,000 supporters calling for fundamental reforms to student loan policies.

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