The White House's decision on student loan forgiveness is unlikely to come until later in the summer, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The 40 million Americans burdened with student loan debt have been waiting for an update since President Joe Biden said in May he would share his plans in the coming weeks.
The Journal reports that the Biden administration will likely make an announcement on loan forgiveness in July or August, closer to when the pandemic-related pause in federal student loan payments is scheduled to end.
CNBC reports that a quarter of the nation's student loan borrowers had already fallen behind on their payments before the COVID-19 pandemic and the $1.7 trillion outstanding student loan balance surpasses credit card or auto loan debt.
When he was campaigning, candidate Biden said he was in favor of forgiving $10,000 from borrowers, which would clear the loans of about one-third of student loan borrowers, according to the Journal. The cost of doing so would be roughly $321 billion, according to Liberty Street Economics.
Administration officials said the holdup is the result of weighing the political and economic fallout of erasing student loan debt, with November's midterm elections on the horizon.
Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are urging the president to wipe out at least $50,000 for all borrowers, though he has said he is not considering their proposal.
Wisdom Cole, national director of the NAACP's youth and college division, recently wrote on Twitter that a mere $10,000 cancellation would be ''a slap in the face.''
''We're concerned that the White House just simply doesn't get the devastating impact of student loan debt on Black people,'' Cole wrote. ''Our demand for $50,000 or more in cancellation is backed by research.''
Even if the White House ultimately decides to erase $50,000 per borrower, the 3 million-plus borrowers who are more than $100,000 in debt would still have large balances, according to CNBC.
There's also concern that any announcement on student loan forgiveness would create backlash among voters who don't have loans or have already paid them off.
Some Senate Republicans have said they would try to block Biden's effort to cancel the debt.
Federal student loans continue to be on pause until at least the end of August, as part of a pandemic-era relief policy that took effect in March 2020.
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