It’s time to be blunt: the student debt crisis is crippling the American economy and preventing young Americans from accomplishing important life goals. As of now, 43.2 million Americans owe $1.75 trillion in student loan debt, and the number is quickly rising. At this rate, student debt is posed to surpass the total amount of credit card debt that Americans have. And communities of color are being hit the hardest.

Within six years of starting school, one in five Latinx borrowers have defaulted on a student loan, which is twice as likely as their white counterparts.

This disparity happens because many Latinx students are the first in their family to attend college, and therefore have less guidance when it comes to navigating the financial aspects of higher education. Sadly, both for-profit and non-profit colleges understand this disadvantage, and hone in on it financially. When students of color graduate from college, they face more roadblocks, like discrimination, as it relates to landing a good job in their field.

During the 2020 election, President Biden campaigned on a platform of student debt forgiveness. But now, nearly two years later, we have yet to see him take executive action towards forgiving student loan debt.

In a Facebook Q&A session with mitú, Sen. Padilla, Sen. Schumer and Ms. Murguía answered important questions pertaining to navigating student loan debt and how to take action to ensure canceling student loan debts becomes a U.S. policy.

All three of our guests know that the student debt crisis is not only preventing Latinos from accomplishing important life goals, but it is also keeping America’s economy from growing. “Relieving student loans would free people up to buy cars, homes, start families, spend money in stores and online, invest in retirement, and, overall, grow our economy,” said Sen. Schumer.

When viewers asked a question about how we know whether we qualify for student debt relief, Sen. Schumer explained that almost everyone with student debt would be eligible.

The goal is to forgive up to $50,000 in student loans for anyone who has student debt.

“If you have less than $50,000, your whole debt would be wiped out,” he explained. “If you have $50,000, your whole debt would be wiped out. If you have more… let’s say you had $60,000 in debt, $50,000 would be gone and you’d only owe $10,000.”

Sen. Schumer clarified that bank loans also qualify for debt relief as bank loans are guaranteed by the federal government.

Plus, it wouldn’t take Congressional legislation to cancel student loan debt. In fact, President Biden could cancel it himself with the “flick of a pen.”

Murguía, Padilla, and Schumer reiterated that it is imperative for all of us — anyone who cares — to contact our local representatives, as well as the White House, to publicly campaign for student debt cancellation — a program that could improve the lives of millions.

“I can’t emphasize enough: organize, organize, organize and communicate to the White House on every platform you can, with as many people in your network that you can,” said Sen. Padilla. “Trust me, it all makes a difference.”

The only way the White House will know how much Americans truly need student debt forgiveness is to hear it from Americans themselves.

As Janet Murguía aptly put it in her closing remarks: “It’s not possible to create that path forward unless there is some relief along the way. Saddled with this debt, we cannot see the full opportunity for our community to contribute and plan for that American dream that they want to be able to have for themselves and their families.”

This article has been updated for accuracy.