News Release: Federal student loan borrowers need more relief


January 21, 2020

Statement of Alexis Goldstein, Senior Policy Analyst, Americans for Financial Reform:

We welcome the extension of the federal student loan payment pause, which will provide important protections to 80 percent of federal student loan borrowers. More still needs to be done, and we look forward to working with the administration to make it happen.

As the payment pause on federal student loans was extended without modification, the suspension on payments and waiving of interest only goes to borrowers with federally-held loans. It continues to leave an estimated 9 million of federal student loan borrowers without any relief at all. Nearly 2 million borrowers with Perkins loans and over 7 million borrowers with commercially-held FFEL loans remain unfairly left out. This differing treatment based on loan type will continue to create confusion among those with older loans that don’t qualify for the suspension. 

The most effective way to get immediate, crucial relief to millions of borrowers and their families is for President Biden to cancel student debt via executive action. 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 look forward to working with him to make it a reality.