Schumer calls on Biden administration to use executive order for student loan forgiveness
Student loan debt is a serious issue for many in higher education, which leads to years or even decades of financial sacrifice to pay back.
Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling on President-elect Joe Biden's administration to address the issue by potentially forgiving some federal student loans.
Schumer says the Biden administration has the power through executive action to forgive up to $50,000 per student of federal loan debt. Schumer says New Yorkers owe $90 billion in federal debt, while the nationwide number skyrockets to $1.4 trillion.
Schumer says the loan forgiveness would be a needed shot in the arm to the economy and would stimulate growth, especially on Long Island, with average student loan debt at $35,000.
"That's a huge amount of money hanging over the heads and futures of Long Island young people and not so young people," says Schumer. "They worry about how they're going to buy a car, how they're going to buy a home, how they're going to start a family, and even worry about what job to go into. Because sometimes you may want to go into a job that doesn't pay as well as another job. But this student debt, this student debt stands in the way."
Schumer adds that about $10,000 of federal student loan forgiveness was built into the HEROES Act, but that is currently stalled in the Senate.
"It is a huge stress when I see that bill coming in the mail," says Stony Brook grad student Liane Aviles, who says she owes about $56,000. "Just that amount of money, it's so large."
Stony Brook grad student Ruki Asfe, who owes about $48,000, says she hopes the incoming Biden administration is listening and will help in any way they can.
"I really hope that they understand the struggle we are going through with our student loans," says Asfe.
The Biden administration has not commented on Schumer's plan, but in the past has supported a $10,000 loan forgiveness plan.