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“Now Is The Time To Cancel, Not Collect, Student Debt” - The National AFL-CIO Calls For Student Loan Forgiveness

Published Monday, May 16, 2022
by National AFL-CIO News
“Now Is The Time To Cancel, Not Collect, Student Debt” - The National AFL-CIO Calls For Student Loan Forgiveness

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Saying “now is the time to cancel, not collect, student debt,” National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler has issued a statement on the Nationwide Labor Federation’s commitment to ending the Student Loan crisis:

We call on the Biden Administration to do its part to assist borrowers hampered by crippling debt.

Organized Labor was built on the foundation of creating a pathway to the Middle Class for everyone, but skyrocketing student loan debt has become an insurmountable obstacle to achieving this goal.

The Biden Administration’s decision to continue to pause student debt has made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many borrowers, but these borrowers still live with the uncertainty of not knowing when they will need to drastically alter their finances in order to begin repaying their loans.

After all that we have endured in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we cannot ask Working People to make further sacrifices.

Now is the time to cancel, not collect, student debt.  

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education has announced a number of actions to fix longstanding failures in the Student Loan Program, which are aimed at helping at least 3.6 million borrowers move closer to debt forgiveness, as well as another 40,000 borrowers who would receive immediate forgiveness.

The Department of Education announced steps that will bring borrowers closer to Public Service Loan and Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) forgiveness by addressing historical failures in the Administration of the Federal Student Loan Programs.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) estimates these changes will result in immediate debt cancellation for at least 40,000 borrowers under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

Several thousand borrowers with older loans will also receive forgiveness through IDR.

More than 3.6 million borrowers will also receive at least three years of additional credit toward IDR forgiveness.

“Student loans were never meant to be a life sentence, but it’s certainly felt that way for borrowers locked out of debt relief they’re eligible for,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said.  “The Department of Education will begin to remedy years of administrative failures that effectively denied the promise of loan forgiveness to certain borrowers enrolled in IDR plans. These actions once again demonstrate the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to delivering meaningful debt relief and ensuring Federal Student Loan Programs are administered fairly and effectively.”

These actions are part of the Department’s commitment to address historical failures in the administration of the Federal Student Loan Program and support student loan borrowers through the pandemic.

They also help address the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on borrowers with lower incomes and high debt loads, Federal Officials said.

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Cancelling college debt should be the first step to solving this problem, not the only step. Private colleges now have more six figure administrators working in loans and credit than they have tenured professors. College costs are the only thing that has gone up more than health care over the last 30 years. There was a bankruptcy case last year of a woman who borrowed $75,000 to finish school and get her master's degree at Columbia. In 25 years, she had paid back $64,000. There were times she missed payments as she was out of work having her children. With compound interest she now owes about $200,000! This is criminal. Simple interest, not compound interest, should be the rule. Make the lenders take the hit on this criminal interest. Establish that public paid education includes four years at public colleges and/or Apprenticeships, you know, like every other high-income civilized country. Posted by James Bertolone on May 19, 2022 at 10:25 am
Black and Latino borrowers need $50k of their loans forgiven. $10,000 is not enough, especially from a President who claims to be a 'champion' of those victimized by institutional racism. Posted by John on May 18, 2022 at 4:20 pm

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