For far too many families today, the cost of higher education has meant daunting debt and endless loan repayments. People of color are disproportionately impacted by these obstacles due to – lower graduation rates (often dropping out as a result of financial pressures) and higher student loan debt and default rates. It is imperative that more students are empowered to pursue a postsecondary education that will help them achieve their dreams and earn a living without a decades-long debt burden. Congressman Clyburn along with House Democrats have taken the following steps to ensure students are able to obtain loans at fair rates and have opportunities to qualify for student loan debt forgiveness:
Congressman Clyburn introduced the Student Loan Debt Relief Act to help students tackle their existing debt burden. Under this bill, people with an income of under $100,000 could have up to $50,000 in student loan cancellation. Those with higher incomes could still see debt cancellation, based on a sliding scale. This would lead to 95 percent of student loan borrowers receiving some relief, and 75 percent would have all their debt canceled. Additionally, the bill would allow borrowers to refinance remaining loans at a lower interest rate and provide an opportunity for borrowers to discharge their debt in bankruptcy. Currently, student loan debt is the only debt you cannot discharge in bankruptcy. House Democrats are committed to providing substantial student debt relief. Recently, President Biden extended the pause on federal student loan debt payments until September 2022 and the Department of Education is implementing a temporary waiver to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to help borrowers better access forgiveness under the program. This temporary measure has already resulted in $5 billion of student loan debt relief.