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Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act

This petition had 5,246 supporters

It is time for an update on the fight to address the crushing student debt crisis.

First, some good news. We temporarily stopped the interest rate of federal student loans from doubling thanks to your activism. CREDO Action members signed over 320,000 of our petitions to lawmakers, made nearly 4,000 phone calls at crucial moments in the campaign that helped get the attention of key decision makers in Congress. Hundreds more wrote thoughtful letters to editors of their local papers.

Although Congress didn't pass the indefinite extension of lower student interest rates that we pushed for, it did pass legislation that delayed the doubling of interest rates on federally subsidized student loans for one year.

This was a step in the right direction as it provided millions of America's working class students and their families much needed immediate relief, making sure they are not going to incur additional financial stress in the current fragile economy.

But unfortunately, we haven't even started to make a dent in the student loan crisis -- we merely stopped Republicans from making it much worse. Since 1999, the average student loan debt has increased by 511 percent. That's 511 percent in just 13 years!

There is a bill that would indefinitely set the federal student loan interest rate at 3.4 percent and forgive student loans for hardworking American taxpayers who have already paid 10 percent of their discretionary income for ten years. And because massive student loan debt suppresses economic growth by prohibiting many college graduates from starting a business, buying a home or starting a family, the bill would also provide much needed stimulus for the economy.

Tell the Democratic Leadership: Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act.

The Student Loan Forgiveness Act would make student loan repayment both simple and fair by capping federal student loan interest rates, converting private student loan debt into federal loan programs, and allowing graduates who have paid at least 10 percent of their discretionary income for ten years to have the balance of their federal student loan debt forgiven.

Forgiving debt, reducing loan repayment burdens and cutting fees and interest rates would increase the purchasing power of millions of Americans and help stimulate the economy.

However, this won't be easy. In order to have a shot at passing real reform of the student loan system, we need support from Democratic leadership to build momentum for the Student Loan Forgiveness Act.

Tell the Democratic Leadership: Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act.

The short-term extension of low interest rates on federally subsidized student loans was a welcome move, but it is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a massive head wound. Settling for a mere one-year extension means that we will be right back where we started next spring as a deadline looms for doubling the interest rates on federal student loans. To make matters worse, we will have neither the leverage of voter outrage in an election year to force extremist Republicans to the negotiating table or the promise of a strong youth vote turnout to motivate Democrats to stand up and fight for the real reform our country needs.

If the Democrats in Washington are serious about advancing a long-term solution to our student loan crisis and end what has been called a "modern-day indentured servitude," they need to embrace real solutions like the Student Loan Forgiveness Act that frees students who have paid their fair share from the increasingly outrageous burden of student debt and helps stimulate the economy at the same time.

Let's speak up on behalf of our students today.

Today: CREDO Action is counting on you

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