Historic debt discharge will provide $5.8 billion in relief to half a million borrowers
Nearly 17k Washington state borrowers defrauded by Corinthian will see $157.9 million in relief
Senator Murray: “I’m so glad that after years of delays from the Trump Administration, the Biden Administration is delivering real relief for hundreds of thousands of defrauded borrowers—including thousands in Washington state.”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on the Biden Administration’s announcement that it will provide $5.8 billion in student debt relief to wipe all remaining loans owed by 560,000 borrowers around the country who were saddled with debt as a result of Corinthian Colleges Inc.’s deceptive practices and wrongdoing. The Biden Administration’s action will cancel $157.9 million in debt for 16,850 borrowers in Washington state.
“Today, every single borrower ripped off by Corinthian Colleges can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing that they will no longer be saddled with debt and anxiety. No student working towards a higher education should ever have to worry about getting lied to or cheated by their institution—and they absolutely shouldn’t have to stress about being denied the debt relief they are owed. That’s why I’m so glad that after years of delays from the Trump Administration, the Biden Administration is delivering real relief for hundreds of thousands of defrauded borrowers—including thousands in Washington state.
“But we can’t stop here: borrowers across the country are still trapped in a broken system and we need to fix it. I continue to urge the Biden Administration to build a fair, workable student loan system by reforming our income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs, providing immediate relief by forgiving some debt for all borrowers—and extending the student loan payment pause until at least 2023 so they can get all this done before payments resume.”
These discharges are long overdue and come after years of Senator Murray fighting to provide urgently-needed relief to cheated and defrauded student loan borrowers. In May 2015, Senator Murray was among the very first Members of Congress to call for the Secretary of Education to use the “borrower defense” authority to discharge loans for students who were cheated by Corinthian Colleges Inc. In the years that followed, the Trump Administration and former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos worked to delay and deny cheated and defrauded borrowers the relief they were owed. In August 2018, Senator Murray led 45 Senate Democrats in formally opposing Secretary DeVos’ borrower defense rule that denied the vast majority of borrowers any relief. The Senate subsequently voted to overturn the rule with a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval, which passed in March 2020 by a vote of 53-42—before the Trump Administration put for-profit colleges ahead of students once again by vetoing the law.
Since then, Senator Murray has led the charge in urging the Biden Administration to fix the broken student loans system and ensure borrowers get the relief they are owed. Senator Murray has called on the Biden Administration to extend the student loan payment pause until at least 2023 and use the extended pause to permanently fix our student loan system. Her proposal calls on the Administration to give struggling borrowers a fresh start by placing those in default before the pause back into good standing—something the Biden Administration has since announced; make income-driven repayment (IDR) more generous and easier to access; build on the tremendous relief made possible by the Administration’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) plan by extending the deadline for the temporary waiver and making permanent improvements to the PSLF program; and provide immediate relief by forgiving some debt for all borrowers.