Could Biden Finally Enact Legislation to Forgive Student Loan Debt?
While the president didn’t detail specific plans in a White House meeting on April 25, he did respond favorably to suggestions to forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower, according to WSJ.
Most of the current action to alleviate student loan debt in the country has been, so far, focused on correcting shortcomings in the Income Driven Repayment (IDR) program concerning federal student loans. As a result of recent changes, more than 40,000 borrowers will see their debts forgiven, GOBankingRates reported. Another 3.6 million borrowers could be three years closer to seeing their loans canceled as a result of a recent investigation of issues within said repayment programs, WSJ wrote.
But IDR program revisions and corrections only address a fraction of the concerns loan program critics commonly express.
Roughly 45.4 million Americans currently hold federal student loan debt, according to Student Loan Hero. In total, 46 million Americans carry nearly $1.75 trillion in student loan debt. More than 11% of those loans were in default or were delinquent by 90-plus days prior to the pandemic.
At the April 25 meeting, Biden said he is open to extending the pandemic-related pause on student loan payments, which would currently expire Aug. 31, 2022. In the meeting, Biden pointed out that he would weigh the timing of any announcement related to student loans carefully, so as not to exacerbate inflation.
On April 26, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the president would decide on canceling student debt — and to what extent — before that date. Biden is weighing the use of executive action to enact any related measures, per WSJ.
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