Attorney General Ellison calls for full cancelation of federal student loan debt

Joins AG coalition urging President Biden to cancel all publicly held debts for student borrowers

May 4, 2022 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today joined a multistate coalition of eight attorneys general in urging President Biden to fully cancel federal student debt owed by every federal student loan borrower in the country. In a letter to President Biden, Attorney General Ellison and the coalition stress that borrowers struggling with the unmanageable burden of student loan debt need immediate relief. The attorneys general acknowledge the administration’s commitment to addressing the issue; however, the coalition urges President Biden to immediately exercise his authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel all federal student loan debt for every borrower. 

“My job is to help everyone afford their lives, and canceling crushing federal student debt will help the economy as a whole,” Attorney General Ellison said. “Working folks who are struggling with debt in a time of high inflation — when the economy is already stacked against them — will be able to get ahead. Canceling federal student debt will free folks up to spend their income on essential goods and services, which will send a surge through the economy that will benefit everyone. By allowing folks to have a better shot at buying home and save for retirement, it will also substantially help close the racial wealth gap. Crushing federal student debt makes life hard for our kids, concentrates wealth in the hands of a few, a contributes to making our economy inequitable and unfair. I’ve joined this coalition to strongly encourage President Biden to use his legal authority to strike a blow for equity and fairness by canceling it.” 

In February 2021, Attorney General Ellison joined another multistate coalition of attorneys general in asking Congress to adopt a resolution that called for the cancellation of up to $50,000 in federal student debt owed by each and every federal student loan borrower nationwide. 

Currently, student borrowers owe more than $1.7 trillion to the federal government. In their letter, the coalition argues that a full cancelation of student debt is necessary to address the sheer enormity of debts owed, systemically flawed repayment and forgiveness systems, and the disproportionate impact of the debt burden on millions of borrowers. While Attorney General Ellison and state attorneys general have taken key actions to ease debt burdens wherever possible, the coalition contends that only permanent action by the Biden administration can provide the widespread relief that is needed by millions of federal student loan borrowers.   

Among other actions, in recent years the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office has:  

In addition, Attorney General Ellison also fought against and sued to stop former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from implementing federal rules designed to thwart debt relief for defrauded students and remove accountability for for-profit schools.  

The Attorney General’s Office publishes a Student Loan Handbook to provide guidance and information to students facing hardships with student debt or considering taking out student loans.  

Joining Attorney General Ellison in sending today’s letter to President Biden are the attorneys general of Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Puerto Rico, and Washington.