BOSTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is expected to help those fighting the student debt crush by immediately writing off up to $ 50,000 in debt for federal student borrowers, Democratic officials said Thursday.
Biden can act using the existing powers given to him under the Higher Education Act, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Ayanna Pressley and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said at a press conference in the afternoon.
Pressley said the action would solve a crisis that disproportionately hurts black and brown borrowers.
“We are all here to call on President Biden to do the right thing by the movement that elected him and to use his executive power to write off $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt,” Pressley said.
Due to historically discriminatory policies – such as redlining, which limited the ability of blacks to obtain the bank loans needed to buy homes and build wealth over generations – black and brown students seeking college had to rely more on student loans, Pressley mentioned.
“If President Biden is serious about closing the racial wealth gap, if President Biden is looking to rebuild better, then he must use his executive authority to issue a blanket and blanket student debt cancellation,” she said .
Capping the amount of debt relief at $ 50,000 will be most beneficial for the maximum number of people trapped under piles of debt that make it difficult to buy a home, start a business and start a business. a family, Warren said.
Canceling $ 50,000 in debt would help close the wealth gap between black and white borrowers, Warren said. She also said that 40% of those who took out student loans were unable to complete their college education, with many struggling with debt while working in lower-paying jobs.
The effort to forgive student debt has come under criticism from former student debt holders who say they have worked and saved up to pay off their debt and don’t think it is fair for others to get away from it all. draw from it.
Warren said student debt cancellation is good for everyone.
“Our economy would be better off if everyone with student debt could go out and start their small business, be able to buy a house and get a job in the public service,” she said. “If we take the position that if I haven’t figured it out in the past, you can’t get it now, we never build anything. We would not have created social security. We would not have started Medicare. “
La’Kayla Carpenter said she was days away from buying her first home when she learned she was in default of $ 23,000 on student loans. She said she tried to come to an agreement to be removed from the default but was turned down.
“I did everything I could to stay in the right direction – I went to school, I graduated, I got married, I had children,” she said. “Feeling like I was less than a person because of it didn’t really make me feel good.”
Biden announced in January that federal student loan payments would remain suspended and interest rates would be set at 0% until at least September 30, extending action by former President Donald Trump’s administration.
The suspension of student loan repayments has since been extended to more than one million people who defaulted on student loans held by private lenders who offered federally guaranteed loans under a program that s ‘was completed in 2010.