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Cordray Wants To Solve Student Debt Problem That Puts Many Ohioans In Jeopardy

Richard Cordray
Dan Konik
/
Richard Cordray

The first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 2018 Democratic candidate for governor has a new job in Washington D.C. Richard Cordray will be overseeing federal student loans. And in that role, he will be figuring out how to deliver on promise President Biden made on student debt. 

In Ohio alone, nearly 1.8 million student borrowers owe more than $63 billion. And Policy Matters Ohio says the average is around $30 thousand. And the group says that debt keeps many, especially low-income and minority Ohioans, from saving or buying homes. Cordray says one thing that’s already available but under-utilized is a program that allows debtors to get relief by providing public service. 

“It’s been on the books for more than a decade. It hasn’t been well administered and there’s a lot of people who maybe should have been eligible for debt forgiveness but haven’t gotten it and that’s one of the problem areas that people are expecting me to go in and help straighten out," Cordray explains.

Ohio University students walk on campus
Credit Dan Konik
Ohio University students walk on campus

Cordray was picked to head the CFPB by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who helped create it. She and other Democrats are pushing for the federal government to relieve up to $50,000 worth of federal and private student loan debt. President Biden has said he would be open to canceling up to $10,000 per borrower through legislation. Some Democrats want him to forgive more debt and sign an executive order to do it if Congress fails to act. Some believe Cordray might be able to cancel debt administratively in his new position within the Education Department thereby taking the pressure off Biden.

 

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