MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Attorney General Keith Ellison says that he is joining a multi-state coalition to urge congressional resolutions calling for the cancellation of up to $50,000 in federal student debt.
Earlier in the month, top lawmakers, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, put forward the proposal to address college debt.
According the Federal Reserve Bank, student debt in this country now totals $1.6 trillion. That's behind mortgages, but ahead of total credit card debt and car loans. That $1.6 trillion is also more than a 200% increase over 15 years. In 2006, student debt in the U.S. totaled $480 billion.
Ellison's office says the nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center reports 775,300 student-loan borrowers in Minnesota have a collective debt burden of $29.1 billion. Minnesota ranks fifth in the nation in percentage of 2019 graduates with student-loan debt.
"The economy is stacked against regular people. That makes it hard for way too many folks to afford their lives," Ellison said. "People seek higher education to build a better future for themselves and their families, but the sky-high cost means too many of them have to take out levels of student debt that make it impossible to build that better future — and Minnesotans are hit harder by high student debt than people in most states."
Ellison and 16 other state attorneys general said they seek immediate relief for borrowers struggling due to the debt, especially given the current COVID-19 pandemic's continuing strain on the economy.
Right now, 43 million Americans have some sort of student debt. That's one in every six American adults and two-thirds of people ages 18 to 29.
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