Hear Rep. Cooper’s take on student loan debt

A local Democrat contacted Rep. Jim Cooper with concerns about student.  Here is his reply:

Thank you for contacting me about student loan debt.

I agree with you; student loan debt is a huge problem in America and it is only getting worse because of COVID-19. The CARES Act was a great start, allowing borrowers to defer payments on federally-held student loans. But we need to think bigger.

President Biden is taking the student debt problem seriously and I am encouraged by his actions. The President has cancelled more than $14 billion in student loan debt, and just recently cancelled the debt for all 560,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges.

I’m proud to have voted several times to forgive a portion of student loan debt. The Senate has yet to act. The Administration is also trying to overhaul the federal repayment and loan forgiveness programs and is looking at the bankruptcy process.

The real issue is making college more affordable. While loan repayment, refinancing, and loan forgiveness programs can help, we’ve got to do a better job helping students afford the bill. I have been fighting to help students by supporting permanent HBCU funding, student loan forgiveness, and doubling the Pell Grant. As you may know, Meharry Medical College was able to distribute $10,000 to each student through the CARES Act to help reduce costs caused by the pandemic. States should also be making public universities more accessible to students and private universities should be unloading their big endowments to alleviate the burden for low-income students.

Thanks again for reaching out to me. I look forward to staying in touch as we work on this issue.


Jim Cooper
Member of Congress