New York Attorney General James calls for full cancelation of federal student loan debt

Posted at 2:08 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 14:11:11-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York Attorney General Letitia James has called for the full cancelation of federal student loan debt.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, AG James led a multistate coalition of eight attorneys general urging him to fully cancel federal student loan debt. Those who joined AG James in sending the letter are the attorneys general of Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Washington.

“While I commend President Biden for giving serious consideration to forgiving $10,000 per borrower, we must take bolder, more decisive action to end this crisis and provide Americans with the tools they need to thrive. Student debt keeps millions of struggling borrowers from reaching financial stability and leads to a cycle of financial burdens that follow them throughout their lives. I join my colleagues in urging President Biden to lead one of the most impactful racial and economic justice initiatives in history by canceling this debt, in its entirety, for all."
- Attorney General James

In the letter, the coalition argues the full cancelation of more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt owed to the federal government is necessary to address:

  • The sheer enormity of debts owed
  • Systemically flawed repayment and forgiveness systems
  • Disproportionate impact of the debt burden on millions of borrowers

The coalition also said it would also reduce stress and mental fatigue while providing countless opportunities for borrowers.

In addition to AG James calling for the cancelation of student loan debt, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that prohibits colleges from withholding a student's transcript due to unpaid debts or charging those who owe debts a higher fee to obtain their transcript.

"Transcripts are critical for students to continue pursuing their educational and career goals. To hold transcripts hostage until outstanding debts are paid is an unfair, predatory practice that prevents our students from reaching their full potential. I was proud to make ending transcript withholding a top priority and took action to end this practice at SUNY and CUNY in January. Today, we put an end to this abhorrent policy for all higher education institutions to ensure a level playing field for New York's students."
- Gov. Hochul