April 13, 2021

Ahead of Hearing, Warren Releases New Education Dept. Data Showing Widespread Benefits of Student Debt Cancellation

Today at 2:30 PM ET, Warren will hold a subcommittee hearing on how student debt hinders economic growth and wealth creation for Black and Brown borrowers. Livestreamed Here.

New Education Department Data (PDF) | Warren Letter to ED (PDF)

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) shared new and previously unreleased data from the U.S. Department of Education on the extent to which millions of student loan borrowers would benefit from up to $50,000 in student debt cancellation. Senator Warren requested the federal data in an April 2, 2021 letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

"New Education Department data show that canceling $50,000 of student loans would erase the debt entirely for 84% of borrowers. I'm looking forward to making the case in my Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing later today about why President Biden must cancel student debt," said Senator Warren.  

In February, Senator Warren and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer led their colleagues in reintroducing their bicameral resolution outlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis by using existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for federal student loan borrowers.

The data show that 36 million borrowers would be completely relieved of their debt burdens if President Biden uses his existing authority to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt. For comparison purposes, cancellation of up to $10,000 in debt would relieve only 15 million borrowers of their debt. 

Furthermore, under the $50,000 plan, out of the 36 million borrowers who would be relieved of all their debt under the $50,000 plan, 9.4 million are currently in default or delinquent. 

There are presently 4.4 million borrowers, with $211 billion in debt (an average of nearly $48,000 per borrower), who have had student debt more than 20 years after graduation. Another 10.7 million borrowers, with $458 million in total debt, have had student loans for more than a decade.

Senator Warren is one of the nation's leading voices calling for student debt cancellation, systemic reforms to make college accessible without taking on debilitating debt, and stronger protections for borrowers against predatory for-profit practices.