CHICAGO - Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued the following statement regarding the announcement from President Joe Biden’s administration that it plans to cancel $10,000 in debt for borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year and $20,000 in debt for Pell grant recipients.

“Higher education should be within reach for all Illinoisans without the fear that they will be saddled with lifelong debt. The administration’s announcement today is a clear acknowledgment of the burden student loan debt imposes, and response to repayment and forgiveness programs that have been historically and systemically flawed.

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“While long-term reforms to the student loan system in this country are desperately needed, I commend the Biden administration for offering some immediate relief to millions of student loan borrowers.”

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Attorney General Raoul has long advocated for protections for student loan borrowers. In May, Raoul called upon President Biden to cancel federal student loan debt, and he was joined by other attorneys general. Earlier this month, Raoul led a coalition of attorneys general calling on the U.S. Department of Education to give public servants more opportunities for loan forgiveness.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office continues to be a national leader in investigating and enforcing consumer protection violations in the higher education field. In 2022, Raoul’s office led a nationwide settlement against Navient, the country’s largest student loan servicer, that resulted in $5 million in restitution, and more than $133 million in debt cancelation, for Illinois borrowers. In 2021, Raoul’s Know Before You Owe legislation was enacted, ensuring that Illinois student borrowers have information about their federal aid eligibility before they turn to more costly private loans. And along with overseeing the rollout of the state’s first Student Loan Ombudsman, a position created by the Student Loan Servicing Rights Act to provide resources for borrowers who are struggling to make payments, Raoul’s office has recently provided $14 million in relief to private student loan borrowers who attended ITT.

Student borrowers who have questions or are in need of assistance can call the Attorney General’s Student Loan Helpline at 1-800-455-2456. Borrowers can also file complaints on the Attorney General’s website.

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