Americans for Financial Reform is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition working to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system.
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News Release: Over 325 Orgs Call on President-Elect Biden to Cancel Federal Student Debt on Day One using Executive Action

Today, more than 325 organizations sent an updated letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, calling on them to use executive authority to cancel federal student debt on day one of their administration. The letter highlights that cancelling student debt would stimulate the economy, help reduce racial wealth gaps, and could have a positive impact on health outcomes. The groups write that “executive action is one of the few available tools that could immediately provide a boost to upwards of 44 million borrowers and the economy.” Further, this action would be an important first step in advancing the President-Elect’s campaign priorities to ensure racial equity, focus on economic recovery, and deliver COVID-19 relief. 

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Joint Statement: President-Elect Biden Should Cancel Student Debt Through Executive Action

The absence of a legislative request to cancel student debt in Biden’s “American Rescue” plan heightens the urgent need for President-Elect Biden to cancel student debt administratively. Overwhelming research shows that student debt cancellation would provide dramatic relief particularly in low-income neighborhoods and among communities of color that are disproportionately burdened by ballooning debt. We hope the absence of debt cancellation in this package is a clear indication that President-Elect Biden is planning to act quickly to use his authority to cancel student debt through executive action. We look forward to working with him to do that.

Blog Post: Wall Street Money, Racism and the Politics of Anti-Democracy

The billionaires and millionaires of Wall Street deploy so much money to influence American politics and society that we can easily lose track of how pervasive it is. They spread money around to campaigns, think tanks, and lobbyists. Wealthy executives finance universities, cultural institutions, and hospitals. And this historical moment has laid bare for all to see that Wall Street also finances a virulently anti-democratic strain in American politics, one that always takes aim at people of color.

News Release: Gensler Will Bring Strong Track Record to SEC in Need of Reform

Gary Gensler has a strong track record from his time at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission of being willing to take on powerful industries. Under his leadership, this small and underfunded agency led the way to the first comprehensive regulation of U.S. over-the-counter derivatives markets, despite heavy opposition from industry lobbyists. Gensler will need to bring the same spirit and drive to the even greater task of bringing needed reform to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Joint Statement: Advocates urge President-elect Joe Biden to provide more student debt relief

We welcome the announcement that President-Elect Biden plans to extend the student loan payment pause. However, we encourage him to take immediate executive action on student debt cancellation. We know President-Elect Biden realizes how important student debt relief is, and how many other battles Congress will have in this critical moment. The surest way to get immediate cancellation is through executive action.

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Statement: On the Resignation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos spent her tenure at the Department of Education fighting against the legal rights of defrauded student loan borrowers at every turn. She rolled back protections, defied court orders, and even complained, when the law required her to execute debt cancellations previously approved by the Obama administration, that she did so with “with extreme displeasure.” And in her final days as Secretary, she condemned debt cancellation, even as the pandemic and economic crisis continues to rage, and student loan borrowers need every break they can get. We look forward to a Department of Education that works toward broad-based debt cancellation, and understands its mission is to protect students, not predatory institutions .

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Letters to Regulators: Joint Letter Opposing the VA’s Proposed COVID-19 Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment Program

AFR Education Fund signed onto a letter opposing the VA’s Proposed COVID-19 Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment Program. The letter stated that the proposal cannot achieve its goal of providing a solution for veteran borrowers’ COVID hardships, and urged the VA to revise the proposal to align with existing programs at FHA, USDA, and the Government Sponsored Enterprises. Specifically, the letter stated that the VA should not require monthly payments, funds should not accrue interest, access to the program should be streamlined, and the program should not have a limited time window for relief.