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Statement: Income-driven repayment fixes will help many borrowers, but student debt cancellation ...


CONTACT: Natalia Abrams

Cody Hounanian

Statement: Income-driven repayment fixes will help many borrowers, but student debt cancellation is needed

The Biden administration just announced a plan to repair harm caused by dysfunctional federal student loan repayment programs. Americans depend on income-driven repayment programs to make their monthly payments affordable and those with persistently low-income trust that the government will erase their debt after two decades in repayment. However, systemic failures mean far too many fail to receive the relief promised to them by law. This plan will ensure that millions of people will be closer to having their loans erased and all borrowers who have been paying back federal loans for over two decades will be eligible for immediate debt cancellation.

The Student Debt Crisis Center (SDCC) supports the administration's efforts. We believe in fixing the existing system while we work towards broad student debt cancellation and this announcement is a step in the right direction. At the same time, these well-intentioned fixes highlight just how broken the system has become. That is why we join millions of everyday Americans, allies, and lawmakers in calling on President Biden to embrace bolder reforms he campaigned by canceling student debt.

“We are optimistic that this set of reforms will help many borrowers and families who felt that student debt had become a lifelong burden. However, in our role as advocates for student loan borrowers we are intimately aware just how insidious this crisis is. Millions of people are drowning in debt and a piecemeal policy approach won’t reach them all. To guarantee that everyone impacted by the student debt crisis is given an opportunity to thrive and access the American Dream, we must broadly cancel student debt now,” said SDCC president and founder Natalia Abrams.“These revisions are a testament to the advocacy efforts of everyday people who shared their experiences and obstacles with the Department of Education, the White House, and lawmakers. These everyday champions are also committed to transformative change and are taking action, by the millions, in support of debt cancellation. We echo their frustration, determination, and hope.” said SDCC executive director Cody Hounanian.

The plan follows last week’s State of Student Debt Summit which brought thousands of people together to discuss student loan issues, research, and advocacy. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer provided a keynote address where he said the Biden administration was closer to canceling student debt “than ever before.” Earlier this year, SDCC joined over 100 organizations in ending a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. In that letter, we urged the Department to “deliver on the promise of income-driven repayment (IDR) programs” by creating an IDR waiver similar to the one announced.


About Student Debt Crisis Center

Student Debt Crisis Center (SDCC) is a non-profit organization ​​centering the needs and voices of borrowers and partnering with allies, to impact public policy and end the student debt crisis. The center works directly with borrowers to help them navigate the bewildering and frustrating loan repayment system and advocates for lasting and meaningful change. It leads a people-powered movement representing over 2 million supporters. Learn more at and follow SDCC on Twitter at @DebtCrisisOrg.


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