Democratic lawmakers nationwide recently wrote a letter to President Joe Biden (D) urging him to do more to fight the student debt crisis.
In 2022, President Biden announced a plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for Americans under a certain income threshold. However, that plan was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
“Your plan would have provided targeted relief to families across the country, with nearly 90 percent of relief dollars going to borrowers earning less than $75,000 a year. An estimated 20 million people would have seen their student debt balances eliminated entirely, including nearly half of all Latino borrowers and one out of four Black borrowers,” reads the letter.
The letter highlights how the student debt crisis disproportionately affects different demographics. And while the writers of the letter did highlight how ethnicities face different amounts of debt, it also discussed how senior citizens face large sums of debt as well.
“Roughly 16 percent of borrowers – including almost one-third of senior citizens holding student debt – are in default, with disastrous consequences for their credit and financial health, including the garnishment of wages and government benefits.”
The letter continues, stating, “In fact, nearly three million people over the age of 62 owed more than $110 billion in federal student loans, putting seniors at risk of having their Social Security benefits garnished. More than a third of borrowers eligible for student debt cancellation under your plan are age 40 or older.”
Pres. Biden has implemented several policies that attempt to slow the burden of student debt and its payments. Student loan interest and payments are set to resume soon, so the president has put “on-ramps” in place to help borrowers.
“[W]e remain gravely concerned about the Department of Education’s projections that without additional relief, student debt delinquencies and defaults will spike once repayment resumes. The Department of Education should work to ensure that implementation of the final rule to provide debt relief does not happen after the 12-month on-ramp ends in effort to further reduce the risk of delinquency and default.”
The Democratic signees urged Biden to use the presidency to put more legislation in place to help borrowers with their student debt.
“Borrowers have already waited nearly a year for the relief you announced in August 2022, and critics of your plan to help 43 million Americans are likely to renew their attacks with regard to your rulemaking announcement.”
The letter was signed by several Democrats including Texas Representatives Veronica Escobar (D), Sheila Jackson Lee (D) and Greg Casar (D).