Student debt relief is now included in round the clock coronavirus stimulus package negotiations on Capitol Hill. On Thursday, President Trump indicated that student debt relief measures passed in the Spring could be extended in the final Congressional package that Jubilee USA is working on.
Over the last 10 years, Jubilee USA led critical campaigns to relieve student debt and keep interest rates low. We can now make big gains in the stimulus negotiations.
Please call your Senators now. During a crisis that rivals the Great Depression, the government can help 45 million Americans holding student debt. At minimum, Congress must extend debt payment relief through the end of the year. We'll need more relief, but this stimulus package should extend the student debt payment moratorium.
On September 30th, the student debt payment suspension that Congress passed as part of the CARES Act stimulus package in the Spring, expires. The Act put in place 0% interest rates and stopped federal collection of student loans. More than 92% of all student loans are federal loans and top 1.5 trillion dollars of debt.
We need to do more.
We need to extend student debt relief through 2021, create debt cancellation processes for those struggling most and make sure the class of 2020 can also be included in debt relief measures. While it's less than 8% of total student debt, it's critical that Congress also brings private sector student loans to the debt relief table too. Call your Senators so student debt relief is included in the stimulus package.
Private student debt amounts to $124.65 billion. The House of Representatives passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act stimulus package in May that included $10,000 of debt forgiveness for either federal or private student debt for borrowers deeply impacted by the crisis. The initial $1 trillion HEALS Act introduced by Senate Republicans this week did not include student debt relief measures.
Earlier this week student debt relief was not part of the debate. Because we acted, now we have a chance of including it in the coronavirus stimulus package. Tell your Senators, extend the debt relief moratorium and bankruptcy protection for student debt.
Over the last week, you generated thousands of calls to the Senate to ratify the global coronavirus debt relief and development aid measures we won from the White House and G20 in the Spring.
On Tuesday we sent a letter from Puerto Rico's major religious leaders to Congress to spur job creation, food security and disaster aid as part of the coronavirus stimulus plan. Religious leaders representing over 95% of Puerto Rico's people signed the Jubilee letter and it included leaders from the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical Churches. The Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Catholic Charities (Caritas) and the General Bible Society also added their names to the letter to Congress.
Your actions are making a big difference during these stimulus negotiations. As Congress negotiates the inclusion of student debt relief, please call your Senator now.
Director of Policy and Advocacy
Student Debt Stimulus Negotiations, Call the Senate