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Biden nears decision on student loan cancellation, moratorium extension

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to announce at the White House on Wednesday that he will cancel $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower that earn $125,000 a year or less.

According to multiple sources familiar with the case, he is also expected to extend the federal student loan payment pause for several more months.

Although Biden had previously said he would make an announcement about the student loan cancellation by the end of the month, the White House insists no final decision has been made yet.

“The president will have more to say on this before August 31,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said. As a reminder, no one on a federal loan has paid a dime in student loans since President Biden took office, and this administration has already forgiven about $32 billion in debt for more than 1.6 million Americans—more than anyone else. also. Administration in History.”

It’s not clear whether there will be additional eligibility criteria for student loan waivers.

The expected announcement comes as Biden faces criticism from proponents of student debt relief over his lengthy decision-making process, leaving millions of borrowers unclear as to whether they should start paying when the moratorium ends in late August.

While Biden is expected to deliver on his key campaign promise to tackle student debt, the move falls short of the $50,000 in cancellation some Democrats have asked for.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., spoke to Biden by phone Tuesday night “to give the president a final push to cancel as many student loans as possible,” a Democrat familiar with the conversation told NBC News. . says “it’s the right thing to do morally and economically,” said the source.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Friday spoke with Schumer and Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Raphael Warnock of Georgia, asking to “do as much as possible” on the matter, according to a source familiar with the appeal. All three senators are outspoken supporters of widespread student debt forgiveness.

Some debt relief advocates have also urged the White House not to waive the income test, arguing that qualifying criteria such as an income cap complicate implementation.

About 45 million Americans have student debt. The Federal Reserve estimated that Americans owed more than $1.7 trillion in student loans in the second quarter of 2022.

Kristen Welker and Frank Thorp V contributed.


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