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Richard Cordray To Focus On Student Debt In New Federal Post

Brennan Linsley
Associated Press
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 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. Policy Matters Ohio said the average is around $30,000 per borrower. The group found that debt keeps many, especially low-income and minority Ohioans, from saving or buying homes.

Cordray said one thing that’s already available is an underutilized 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 said.

Cordray was picked to head the CFPB by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who helped create tte bureau. She and other Democrats are pushing for the federal government to relieve up to $50,000 worth of federal and private student loan debt.

Biden has said he would be open to cancel up to $10,000 per borrower through legislation. Some Democrats want him to forgive more debt and sign an executive order if Congress fails to act. Some believe Cordray might be able to cancel debt administratively in his new position within the Education Department and take the pressure off Biden. 

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.