As the end of the pandemic moratorium on student loan payments approaches, the White House may be moving closer to forgiving $10,000 in student debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 per year.
CNN reported Monday that White House officials are positioning themselves to announce something this week about the issue as the pause in student debt payments, enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, ends Aug. 31.
That announcement, possibly on Wednesday, could include forgiveness of $10,000 in student debt for those making less than $125,000 per year, and possibly more for those under a certain income level, according to the report.
"We have been talking daily about this," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" Sunday. "I can tell you that the American people will hear within the next week or so from the president and the Department of Education on what we will be doing around that."
Cardona said he didn't have "any news to announce," but that the American people "will hear directly from us because we recognize this is an important issue around the country."
Nearly halfway through his first term, President Joe Biden has yet to make good on his campaign promise of forgiving up to $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower.
"We should forgive a minimum of $10,000 per person of federal student loans, as proposed by Sen. [Elizabeth] Warren, D-Mass., and colleagues," Biden posted on Twitter in March 2020. "Young people and other student debt holders bore the brunt of the last crisis. It shouldn't happen again."
According to a recent article on the Nerdwallet website, federal student loan debt totals $1.62 trillion with 46 million borrowers, and accounts for 92% of all student debt in the nation.
Of the 46 million borrowers, 24.9 million are in "forbearance," or temporarily postponing repayment of the obligation, another 7.5 million are in default, 1.2 million are in a "grace period," 3.1 million are in "deferment," and just 400,000 (less than 10%) are actively repaying the notes, according to the article.
Cardona said during his interview that the Biden administration has already forgiven some $32 billion in student debt through the 2017 Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that allows full-time workers, employed by qualified employers, who have made at least 120 qualifying payments eligible to have the balance of their loans forgiven.
"From day one we have been really focused on making sure we are protecting our students and our borrowers," Cardona said. "Thirty-two billion dollars in debt forgiveness since day one. We know that Aug. 31 is a date that many people are waiting to hear something from."
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