AG Tong Calls for Cancellation of Federal Student Loan Debt(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today joined a multistate coalition urging the adoption of U.S. House and Senate resolutions that call for the cancellation of up to $50,000 in federal student debt owed by each and every federal student loan borrower nationwide.
In their letter to Congress, the attorneys general stress the immediate relief needed for borrowers struggling with unmanageable student loan debt, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and current financial crisis. The resolutions – Senate Resolution 46 and House Resolution 100 – call on President Biden to exercise his authority to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.
“With millions of Americans unemployed President Biden must act swiftly to provide robust and meaningful relief to student loan borrowers,” Attorney General Tong said. “Cancelling up to $50,000 of student debt will be a lifeline to the millions of student loan borrowers struggling to make ends meet during the worst public health and economic crisis in recent times.”
According to the letter, the existing repayment system for federal student loans provides insufficient opportunity for struggling borrowers to manage their debts. As many as one in five federal student loan borrowers are in default. Options for student borrowers to obtain relief have also proven to be inadequate. Only 2 percent of borrowers who applied for loan discharges under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program have been granted a discharge, and efforts by state attorneys general to obtain student loan discharges for students defrauded by for-profit schools have been stymied by the U.S. Department of Education.
The letter specifically highlights misconduct by for-profit schools, and how the industry’s predatory practices have disproportionately harmed people of color. The attorneys general state that cancelling federal student loan debt can substantially increase Black and Latinx household wealth and help close the racial wealth gap.
Joining today’s letter, co-led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and New York Attorney General Letitia James, are Attorney General Tong and the attorneys general of, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.