Student loan payments are set to resume Aug. 31, if Biden doesn’t extend the pauseAugust 3, 2022
Student loan servicers say the Education Department has told them not to communicate with borrowers about when and how payments are set to resume—which creates uncertainty for them, as well, about how they will be able to fulfill their obligations to notify people fully before payments are set to resume. At a minimum, borrowers should get a billing statement 21 days before their next payment is due.
The Biden administration has forgiven more than $26 billion in debt for 1.3 million student borrowers, through targeted programs like public service loan forgiveness and cancellation of debt for students defrauded by their for-profit colleges. But this is just a tiny drop in the overall $1.7 trillion of student debt in the U.S.
Forgiving $10,000 per student borrower would wipe out the debt for one in three who owe. But it would have disparate effects. Currently, 66% of Black borrowers owe more than they originally borrowed 12 years after starting college, compared with 37% of Latino and 30% of white borrowers. Canceling $10,000 of debt zeroes out debt for just 14% of people who owe more after 12 years than when they started. Given this and other ways student debt has fallen particularly heavily on Black people, forgiving more than $10,000 would be a racial justice measure.
But if Biden is set on just $10,000 in forgiveness, he should announce it. If he’s considering more, he should make up his mind. Inaction has a price, and he’s paying it with young voters.
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