NJ Attorney General signs letter supporting calls for student loan cancellation
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal joined several other state attorneys general in a letter to Congress backing Congressional Democrats’ demand for student loan cancellation under the Biden administration on February 19.
Supporters of US Senate Resolution 46 and House of Representatives Resolution 100 call on President Biden to take executive action and write off up to $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt for all federal borrowers by under the Law on Higher Education.
Supporters say that forgiving student loan debt will address predatory practices that disproportionately harm people of color, help stimulate the economy and create a better future for millions of Americans, according to the letter.
PHOTO CAPTION: State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal last week signed a letter urging President Biden to sign an executive order canceling up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt.
The Attorneys General of Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, United Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin signed the letter in support of the bills.
“Because we are responsible for enforcing our consumer protection laws, we are well aware of the substantial burden that federal student loan debt places on residents of our states,” the letter said. “Our offices regularly receive complaints from borrowers who are unable to navigate the obscure and opaque repayment or forgiveness plans available under current law.”
Student loan borrowers struggled with federal student loan debt before the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people owe more than they originally borrowed, the letter said.
As of March 2020, interest payments on federal student loans have been suspended and interest rates are held at 0%. These measures will be in place until at least September 2021, according to the Department of Education.
Up to one in five federal student loan borrowers are in default and unable to manage their debt due to disability, illness or job loss.
The letter said federal student loan borrowers fall victim to predatory for-profit colleges that tempt students with bogus promises and leave people with worthless degrees, few job opportunities, and insurmountable debt.
“Our offices have devoted substantial resources to addressing for-profit college misconduct,” the letter reads. “Through these efforts, we know that students who attend for-profit schools are disproportionately vulnerable to disastrous consequences from the federal student loans they get to pay for their tuition.”
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Attorneys general added that for-profit schools target people of color who are disproportionately represented among students struggling to pay off federal student loans they have acquired while attending for-profit schools.
“Canceling student debt can dramatically increase the wealth of black and Latin households and help close the wealth gap,” according to the letter.
When federal student loan borrowers cannot repay the loans they have borrowed, they may face administrative wage garnishment, Social Security retirement support, disability income. and lost earned income tax credits, the letter says.
“The current federal student loan repayment system does not give troubled borrowers the ability to manage their debts or recover from the current economic crisis,” the letter said. “A large-scale federal student loan debt cancellation will bring immediate relief to millions of struggling people during the pandemic and recession, and provide a much needed boost to families and our economy.” “
The letter also said, “Borrowers deserve and desperately need federal student loan burden relief, and they need that relief now.”
Kathryn Roselle can be reached at [email protected]