Facing the stress of student loan debt while juggling pandemic-related financial stress, is a real issue faced by many Americans. Advocates of providing student loan debt cancellation include Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass). In early April, Pressley, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, outlined a plan for President Joe Biden to cancel student loan debt for American borrowers.
A call-to-action for the president to cancel student loan debt up to $50,000 continued earlier this week when Rep. Pressley testified during a United States Senate Committee hearing on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hosted by Sen. Warren.
“I’ve become all too familiar with the gentle tug of my sleeve, or the panicked expression as I meet the eyes of someone drowning in student debt. The grandmother who was still paying off student loans. The young parent who can’t afford childcare or rent, and her student loan payments. The teacher who fears losing his teaching license because he can’t come up with that monthly student loan payment, not even the minimum. The student debt crisis is not naturally occurring. This crisis was crafted in these hallowed halls. Policy decisions were made that ensnared generations in the student debt trap,” Rep. Pressley said, during her testimony.
Rep. Pressley said that while a college degree is increasingly necessary for economic survival, the cost is ‘sticker priced.’ She further stated that canceling student loan debt up to $50,000 would address racial and economic disparities while providing critical relief. The difference in median wealth in Boston between Blacks and whites was also mentioned.
Earlier this week, Rep. Pressley also tweeted about the racial connection of student loan debt.
However, Rep. Pressley also summed up her examples of financial burden, after referencing constituents and other individuals who are impacted by student loan debt, by calling for bold action to be taken.
“Cancelling student debt by executive actions is one of the most effective ways President Biden can provide sweeping relief to millions of families…,” Rep. Pressley said.
In conjunction, the student loan debt issue includes recent borrowers, but it reaches family budgets, and it can impact older adults. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, 30% of adults reported that they borrowed money to pay for their own education-related expenses. However, the burden of education debt also extends beyond just the person obtaining the education, since parents of family members assist some borrowers with making loan payments.
The Washington Post also reported on the many faces of student debt while highlighting the diverse stories of borrowers like an illustrator and a creative writing professor. Additionally, the article mentioned the latest Federal Reserve data. According to The Washington Post, over the last two decades, Black students and people age 50 and over, are among the fastest-growing categories of student loan borrowers.