first_img“Student debt cancellation is a racial justice issue,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley tweeted.x Research Associate Anna Smith wrote of the authors’ findings in the study that student debt levels have increased rapidly in only three years, especially for Black borrowers, bringing to light “new urgency to finding a solution to the student debt crisis.”“Undoubtedly, these debt levels have risen due to the pandemic, adding increased economic strains to already vulnerable households and to the economy at large,” Smith wrote. In an example of how burdensome student loan debt has become Smith cited troubling statistics:”At 2016 levels, $50,000 in debt cancellation would alleviate the debt burden for 81 percent of Black households, but just three years later, in 2019, this decreased to 73 percent of Black households. With 2016 data, $50,000 in forgiveness instantly increased overall Black wealth by 40 percent—now it’s just 34 percent at that forgiveness level.” Although Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March and effectively suspended loan payments, halted collections, and waived interest on federal student loans through Dec. 31, Trump hasn’t given any indication that he’ll extend loan relief before Biden is inaugurated on January 20, potentially leaving the ball in the president-elect’s court.- Advertisement – Congressional Oversight Commissioner Bharat Ramamurti argued that student debt is part of the reason “we’re seeing declining home ownership and small business formation rates” and that canceling that debt as well as other forms of debt would have “a big stimulative effect.” “The latest data and research also show that broad debt cancellation will help narrow the racial wealth gap,” Ramamurti added. He cited a Roosevelt Institute report that calls for $75,000 of student debt cancellation entitled “Student Debt Forgiveness Options: Implications for Policy and Racial Equity.”- Advertisement – When asked Monday during a press conference on economic recovery if he would take executive action to achieve student loan forgiveness, Biden said his plan addresses it with $10,000 in student loan relief for public service workers for up to five years and a promise to make college tuition free for families with incomes below $125,000. He also said his plan addresses doubling the maximum Pell Grant award, and he has already vocalized support for a bill the House passed to cancel $10,000 in student loans per person. “It should be done immediately,” Biden said. center_img As someone who has worked to pay off her college loans, I’d tend to disagree. This whole concept of plaguing future generations because I couldn’t benefit from the relief seems more than a bit short-sighted.  “Student loan debt is holding back a whole generation from buying homes, starting small businesses, and saving for retirement – all things we rely on to grow our economy,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted Monday. “Executive action to #CancelStudentDebt would be a huge economic stimulus during and after this crisis.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img

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