Student loan borrowers shouldn’t have to repay debt Biden ‘promised to cancel,’ say 180 organizations – and they’re asking for another extension of the suspension of payments


President Joe Biden says he is close to making a decision on broad student loan debt forgiveness.Drew Angerer/Getty Images

  • More than 180 organizations have written to Biden urging him to extend the student loan payment pause.

  • They said borrowers should not have to make payments until debt cancellation is “fully implemented”.

  • Payments are expected to resume on September 1 and no general relief announcements have yet been made.

Nearly 200 organizations want to make sure federal student loan borrowers don’t pay a dime on their debt until President Joe Biden cancels some of it.

On Thursday, 180 organizations led by the advocacy group Student Borrower Protection Center signed a letter urging Biden to cancel student debt and extend the current pause on most federal student loan payments that are due to expire after Aug. 31.

With recent reports suggesting Biden is considering $10,000 in relief for borrowers earning less than $150,000 a year, supporters worry that targeting the relief will weed out borrowers who need it the most — and they want to make sure payments don’t resume before loan forgiveness hits everyone. accounts of federal borrowers.

Groups including the NAACP and unions such as AFSCME wrote, “We urge your administration not to threaten the financial security of people in debt as a tactic to fight inflation. Instead, our organizations urge you to adopt robust student debt cancellation that is not means-tested and does not require an opt-in to participate and to fully implement this policy before any loan bills are due student.”

“People in debt cannot be held to payments for loans your administration has promised to cancel,” they added.

Mike Pierce, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, previously spoke with Insider about the bureaucratic hurdles that would come with targeting student loan relief. As seen in the past with income-based repayment plans and the Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Scheme, simple errors in paperwork could prevent borrowers from getting the aid they were eligible for. , and Pierce said the same could happen if borrowers were to take individual action to access broad debt forgiveness.

“You don’t make politics more progressive because of the difficulty for people to demonstrate that they have low enough income to benefit from it,” Pierce said.

Biden is likely to announce a broad student loan forgiveness in July or August, but another extension of the payment pause doesn’t seem as likely given his administration’s concerns about inflation. Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, previously told The New York Times that “the key economic fact here is that if the restart of debt payment and debt relief were to happen shortly Near the same time, the net inflationary effect should be neutral.”

Republican lawmakers have also cited inflation as a reason not to extend the pause and cancel student debt, with some even introducing legislation to resume payments and block any general debt relief. But Democratic advocates and lawmakers have argued that now is the time for Biden to step up and make sure it’s a smooth process that all federal borrowers can access.

“It is important that borrowers get relief quickly and not be hampered by unnecessary roadblocks and obligations,” Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar recently wrote to the Department of Education. “The American public will depend on your agency’s ability to write off debt quickly and effectively, regardless of the effort and resources required.”

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