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 currently expected to resume on September 1, with no general relief announcements yet.
Nearly 200 organizations want to make sure federal 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 like the AFSCME wrote that they “strongly 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 embrace robust student debt cancellation which is no way.” tested and does not require an opt-in for participation and to fully implement this policy before any student loan bill is due.”
“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 to 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 Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), simple errors in paperwork could prevent borrowers from getting help. which they were eligible, and Pierce said the same could happen if borrowers were to take individual action. access broad debt cancellation.
“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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