Illinois AG Kwame Raoul seeks immediate cancellation of student loan debt

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A multistate coalition of eight attorneys general, including Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, wrote a letter to President Biden urging him to completely forgive student loan debt owed by every federal student loan borrower in the country. The coalition urged the president to exercise his authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel more than $1.7 trillion owed to the federal government by student borrowers.

“Without action, the student loan crisis will continue to deepen, stifling economic activity and burdening families with mountains of debt they cannot afford to repay,” Raoul said in a statement. “As long-term reforms to the student loan system are desperately needed, I urge the Biden administration to take action that will bring immediate relief to student borrowers.”

Full student debt cancellation is needed to address “the enormity of the debts owed, the systemically flawed repayment and forgiveness systems, and the disproportionate impact of the debt burden on millions of borrowers,” said assert the coalition in its letter. The coalition argues that only permanent action by the Biden administration can provide the “widespread relief” needed by millions of federal student borrowers, the coalition says.

The coalition further argues that the cancellation of federal student loan debt “will reduce stress and mental fatigue and provide countless opportunities for borrowers, such as saving for retirement and buying new homes.” Canceling federal student loan debt relief can also help close the racial wealth gap, the coalition says.

“The difficulties created by the pandemic — and the subsequent suspension of loan repayments — prove that we are equipped to write off student debt once and for all,” Michigan AG Dana Nessel said in a statement. “I join my colleagues in calling on President Biden to provide this much needed relief to millions of borrowers across the country.”


Besides Raoul, the coalition included attorneys general from Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Puerto Rico and Washington.

Raoul’s office has secured more than $160 million in relief for Illinois consumers defrauded by schools, lenders or repairers since 2019. Earlier this year, a $1.85 billion nationwide settlement with Navient was announced, which includes nearly $5 million in restitution payments and more than $133 million in debt forgiveness from Illinois borrowers, with Illinois receiving a direct payment as part of the settlement of more of $7 million.

The Biden administration has repeatedly pushed back the deadline for the student loan suspension issued at the start of the pandemic for the first time since taking office in January 2021, the latest extension of the pause on student loan repayments, interest and collections up to August 31. .

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