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Press Press Releases New Poll: Hours Before Major Hearing, Latest Tracking Poll Shows Significant Federal Action on Student Debt Remains Consistently Popular Among Likely Voters

New Poll: Hours Before Major Hearing, Latest Tracking Poll Shows Significant Federal Action on Student Debt Remains Consistently Popular Among Likely Voters

SBPC Executive Director Mike Pierce to Testify Before Senate Banking Committee on Need for President Biden to Cancel Student Debt

Thursday, May 5, 2022 | WASHINGTON, D.C. — As President Biden considers executive action to cancel student debt and the Senate Banking Committee prepares for a major student loan-focused hearing, the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) and Data for Progress released the latest in a series of polls tracking the impact of student debt on American families.

Overall, likely voters continue to support sweeping action to cancel student debt by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. If President Biden fails to act, the consequences for American families will be dire, as more than half of all likely voters expect to make major changes to saving or spending when the current pause on student loan payments expires at the end of August.

Today’s Senate Banking Committee hearing, entitled, “Examining Student Loan Servicers and Their Impact on Workers” is at 10:00 AM E.T. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building 538 (or streamed live) and will include testimony from SBPC Executive Director Mike Pierce.

In his testimony, Pierce will urge Biden to respond to ongoing student debt distress and respond to voters who, as revealed in the newly released poll, continue to widely support strong federal action—regardless of age, debt status, college history, political affiliation, or race. See Pierce’s full written testimony here.

“Everywhere from Wall Street to Silicon Valley to Washington, D.C. students and their families have been transformed into dollar signs on a balance sheet, as the promise of broad prosperity is packaged and sold in the pursuit of private profit. The well-documented, widespread abuses of federal student loan servicers, private creditors, and even the U.S. Department of Education should serve as a wake-up call for lawmakers,” said SBPC executive director Mike Pierce. “Canceling student debt is just, it is equitable, it is legal, and it is the only appropriate response to decades of government mismanagement and widespread industry abuses.”

Voters continue to expect severe financial distress if thrown back into making student loan payments in August. Also from the poll, if payments resume without strong federal action:

  • The outright majority of Democrats, voters who are older than 45, and voters who graduated college expect to feel less financially secure;
  • One-in-five likely voters and almost a quarter of political independents expect their credit card debt to increase; and
  • Roughly 40 percent of borrowers expect to save less for short-term emergencies, long-term goals such as retirement or child’s college tuition, and spend less on basic necessities like food and housing.

See the full poll here.

If you are interested in coordinating an interview with Mike Pierce or someone at SBPC, please contact Jackie Filson at jackie@protectborrowers.org

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About Data for Progress

Data for Progress is a progressive think tank and polling firm which arms movements with data-driven tools to fight for a more equitable future. DFP provides polling, data-based messaging, and policy generation for the progressive movement, and advises campaigns and candidates with the tools they need to win. DFP polling is regularly cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, CBS News, and hundreds of other trusted news organizations.

Learn more at dataforprogress.org or follow DFP on Twitter at @dataprogress.

About Student Borrower Protection Center

Student Borrower Protection Center is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. The SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.

Learn more at protectborrowers.org or follow SBPC on Twitter @theSBPC.

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