WASHINGTON, D.C. — Recently, President Joe Biden announced that he will cancel between $10,000 – $20,000 in federal student loan debt for many borrowers. In addition, President Biden’s announced “Student Debt Relief” program will extend the current federal student loan payment pause through December 31, 2022 and make the student loan re-payment system more manageable for current and future borrowers.
Melanie L. Campbell, President & CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), issued the following statement:
“I am encouraged to see that the Biden-Harris Administration is working to keep a key campaign promise it made by providing student debt relief to working and middle-class families, as well as Black and other communities of color. One of the most time-revered pathways for Black people to achieve economic independence has been through securing undergraduate and graduate degrees. But often, the efforts to achieve these degrees have created excessive short-and-long-term financial hardships for Black youth and their families. Often, the financial burdens created in pursuit of a college degree stymie and stunt the economic growth for Black people for decades, prohibiting their ability to build long term wealth for themselves and their families.
“President Biden’s ‘Student Debt Relief Plan’ is a step in the right direction. It’s no secret that excessive student loan debt disproportionately impacts the ability for Black families to build generational wealth. Further, as a Black woman who was saddled with student loan debt for over 25 years after graduating from Clark-Atlanta University, I know personally what it would have meant for my long-term economic security had I received student loan debt relief. Further, I know too many people in my family that are retired that are still saddled with student loan debt 40+ years later. Nearly two-thirds of the $1.7 trillion student debt in America is held by women, and Black women borrowers are more negatively affected due to systemic racism and economic insecurity.
“America can and must do better. Clearly more must be done to address the deficiencies in the way higher education is financed in this nation. The 2022 Mid-Term Election will determine if student loan debt relief will be expanded in 2023 and beyond. So, now is the time for voters, especially young voters, to challenge those seeking federal office to commit to expanding student loan debt as a good investment in our nation’s economic future.”