Sens. Durbin & Duckworth urge congress to cancel student loan payments in COVID-19 response package

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth sent a letter to Congressional negotiators, urging them to take desperate measures to help those burdened by student loan debt. One proposal includes at least a $10,000 debt cancellation for each loan-holder.

Fourteen other lawmakers also signed off on the letter including Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

“Students and families should not have to worry that they will go into default on their student loans during or immediately after this emergency–they should be worried about keeping themselves and their loved ones safe,” the Senators wrote. “Student loan debt in this country is already crushing for many and without immediate and bold relief, it will prevent people from fully participating in our economy.”

The lawmakers made three specific requests:

  1. Immediate monthly payment relief for student loan borrowers: Authorize the Department of Education to immediately take over the monthly payments of federal student loan borrowers during this public health emergency.
  2. Across the board student loan debt cancellation: Cancel at least $10,000 of student debt for all borrowers to help jump-start our economy and make a significant difference for American families.
  3. Shield borrowers from involuntary collections and offsets during this public health crisis: Shield all student loan borrowers from any federal offsets that can prevent them from receiving critical benefits and supports, such as the seizure or garnishment of wages, federal salaries, Social Security Benefits, and federal income tax returns like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

You can read the full text of the letter here.

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