DeKalb, IL — Organizations around the country are urging President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to use executive power to cancel federal student debt on Jan. 20.
Over 230 organizations such as the NAACP, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association sent a letter to the administration asking them to cancel student debt as more than 44 million people collectively hold an estimated $1.6 trillion in the debt.
In the letter, the organizations said canceling student debt would be an economic stimulus for the COVID-19 pandemic fallout, according to Newsweek.
The organizations state that canceling the debt was the "bold and immediate action" needed to "minimize the harm to the next generation and help narrow the racial and gender wealth gaps,” since the pandemic has disproportionately affected people of color and women.
Throughout his campaign, Biden endorsed a plan from Democratic senators that could cancel $10,000 of student debt as part of a coronavirus relief package. Biden recently stated that the move would be "done immediately" because borrowers are having to choose between paying student loans and rent.
Biden also has a plan to include forgiveness for people who have “responsibly made payments” for 20 years and people in public service. Borrowers would have $10,000 of debt forgiven for every year of national or community service, for up to five years.