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Empty chairs in a college auditorium - Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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. 

classroom with students and a student with a backpack standing up with papers - Photo by javier trueba on Unsplash

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.

students in graduation cap and gowns - Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

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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Statement: Student loan suspension extension gives millions another month of certainty, but more needs to be done

In October, AFR joined 76 other organizations to call on Secretary DeVos to extend the federal student loan suspension. We are glad that Secretary DeVos has heeded this call, extending the suspension through the end of January 2021. But we still need a long term solution. We look forward to seeing the incoming Biden administration extend the federal student loan suspension even further, ensure all federal student loan borrowers are covered, and provide crucial relief to millions by cancelling federal student debt via executive action.

student graduates thowing their caps into the air

Sign-on Letter: Over 235 Orgs Call on President-Elect Biden to Cancel Federal Student Debt on Day One using Executive Action

239 organizations signed a 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 was led by Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Responsible Lending, Demos, the National Consumer Law Center, and Student Borrower Protection Center.