Biden Administration Can Cancel Student Debt On Day One | Press Release

November 9, 2020

As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris begin their transition to taking office in January, the Project on Predatory Student Lending is restating the President’s authority to cancel student loan debt for millions of students and families across the country. This action does not require Congress’s approval and can be taken on day one of taking office.

The Project on Predatory Student Lending, which has represented more than a million former for-profit college students, previously wrote the legal analysis on the President’s authority to cancel student debt. This research was cited in the Senate Resolution proposed by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren calling on the President to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for 43 million Americans.


The following is a statement from Eileen Connor, Legal Director at the Project on Predatory Student Lending.

“President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will not need to wait for Congressional action to make a difference for millions of former students and their families. They have the power and legal authority to order their Department of Education to cancel millions in student debts on day one of their administration.

We represent over a million former students who were scammed by predatory for-profit colleges and trapped in unconscionable debts while the Department of Education did nothing. The Biden/Harris administration must heed the moral imperative to end their suffering.

Our clients come from the communities most severely impacted by the coronavirus and hardest hit by the economic crisis. Debt cancellation of $10,000 per individual—the minimum that President-elect Biden promised—would deliver concentrated benefits for Black and Hispanic/Latinx borrowers, because  it would entirely wipe out student loans for a disproportionate number of borrowers of color. This would remove the risk of future default and provide a clean slate for those who have already defaulted—an event that severely limits a household’s access to credit, housing, and employment. Swift action would mean the difference between opportunity and despair.”


About the Project on Predatory Student Lending

Established in 2012, the Project on Predatory Student Lending represents former students of predatory for-profit colleges. Its mission is to litigate to make it legally and financially impossible for federally-funded predatory schools to cheat students. The Project has brought a wide variety of cases on behalf of former students of for-profit colleges. It has sued the federal Department of Education for its failures to meet its legal obligation to police this industry and stop the perpetration and collection of fraudulent student loan debt.