JACL’s Response to Biden’s Student Debt Cancellation

President Joe Biden speaks about canceling student debt in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on August 24. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona listens on the right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON – The Japanese American Citizens League released the following statement on August 24.


Earlier today, President Biden announced his long-awaited student debt cancellation plan. This plan includes $10,000 in individual debt relief for non-Pell Grant recipients and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients if the person earns less than $125,000 per year. Families can get the same debt relief if they earn less than $250,000 a year.

It was also announced that student loan repayments would be suspended one last time, until December 31, 2022. Additionally, anyone with undergraduate loans could limit their repayment plan to 5% of their monthly income.

We’ve known for years that student debt has a negative impact on borrowers of color, making it harder for them to make ends meet, let alone try to get other loans to buy homes or start businesses. businesses. All this deprives them of new economic opportunities. As such, today’s announcement is a welcome step but leaves a lot to be desired.

As the price of schooling has risen in the past few decades alone, it has left borrowers with bigger and bigger loans and forced them to spend more to repay them. While $10,000 is no small sum, unfortunately it will not have as big of an impact as the administration had hoped.

We also need to look at the process by which students can request and file their request for debt forgiveness. It should be a simple and easy process that puts less pressure on borrowers. We look forward to more information in the coming days, but hope that some changes can still be made to benefit more students and more borrowers who are in desperate need of help.

JACL Executive Director David Inoue issued the following statement: “This is a great first step, but it leaves many of those most in need of help without benefits, including many first-year immigrant students. generation. The skyrocketing cost of higher education means that many students are saddled with debt that far exceeds the aid provided by today’s announcement. It’s a very welcome relief for anyone who has student loans, but not enough.

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