An Open Letter to President Biden.

Alan Collinge
2 min readJun 8, 2021


This message was submitted to the White House on June 8th, 2021:

Mr. President,

Before the election, you said you would “eliminate” federal student loans for people who went to public colleges and earned less than $125,000 per year, and that you were endorsing a bankruptcy plan that included both returning bankruptcy rights to all student loans, and an executive order- on Day One- directing the Department of Education to stop opposing borrowers in bankruptcy court.

Day One and your first 100 days passed with no action. You have broken your pledge, and have gone out of your way to insult the 45.4 million federal student loan borrowers, most of whom voted for you in the expectation that you were a man of your word.

Vanishingly few went to Harvard or Penn. Nearly half never graduated. Over half are over the age of 35, with people over 50 outnumbering people under 25, and owing far more.

Before the pandemic, more than half were unable to make payments at all. 80 percent were underwater. Those in “Red States” like Georgia, Texas, Florida, and others owed more than their entire state budget in student debt. It is no stretch to say that defaults were going to exceed 75 percent.

What are defaults going to be now, post-Covid, Mr. President? 80 percent? 85 percent? Higher? The default rate for sub-prime mortgages was a mere 20 percent.

Mr. President, you need to acknowledge what everyone- including your staff- knows: This is a catastrophically failed lending system by all rational metrics.

Your key role in removing bankruptcy from student loans going back to the 70’s makes this your legacy.


If you fail to- at a minimum- issue that executive order returning bankruptcy rights to student loans by July 4th, I will burn my loan papers, and urge everyone I know to do the same.

You owe us.

We will not be “conquered and enslaved” by debt (John Adams’ words, not mine. Frankly, you really should just erase all federally owned loans, and replace the lending system with a more rational, rationally priced, and state-friendly funding model. Relegate this vicious and unconstitutionally predatory lending catastrophy to the scrap-heap of failed US domestic policy experiments. This will require not one dime from Treasury, or add even a penny to the national debt.

If you agree with this letter, send one of your own to the White House. Also, sign the petition.



Alan Collinge

I am Founder of StudentLoanJustice.Org, author of The Student Loan Scam (Beacon Press), and creator of the petition Change.Org/CancelStudentLoans