Washington, D.C. – In June, Generation Progress and the Center for American Progress released a policy menu paper detailing six possible fixes to alleviate the burden for current student loan borrowers. The report demands that solutions for current borrowers go hand in hand with tackling affordability for tomorrow’s students. About 43 million adult Americans—roughly one-sixth of the U.S. population older than age 18—currently carry a federal student loan and owe $1.5 trillion in federal student loan debt, plus an estimated $119 billion in student loans from private sources that are not backed by the government. College debt is even more concentrated among young adults with an estimated one-third of all Americans ages 25 to 34 have a student loan.

Generation Progress leadership is glad to see national momentum on proposed legislative solutions to the debt crisis for those directly impacted. Today’s introduction of targeted debt cancellation legislation from Rep. Jim Clyburn and Sen. Elizabeth Warren follows the recent proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal to cancel all $1.5 trillion of student loan debt.

Generation Progress Executive Director Brent J. Cohen issued the following statement in response:

“While it remains critical that we address college affordability for the future, any meaningful approach to the student loan debt crisis requires that we tend to the needs of current loan borrowers—particularly low-income borrowers and borrowers of color—who have been failed by the system for decades. The solutions proposed in these two pieces of legislation would provide meaningful recourse for millions of borrowers and should be the start of efforts to correct our broken higher education financing system, not the end. We look forward to additional approaches that address the serious problem of student loan debt in this country.”

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Charlotte Hancock at chancock@americanprogress.org.

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