Federal student loan payments are set to restart for 40 million Americans on Oct. 1, 2021. The payments were temporarily suspended in March 2020 when Congress passed its first COVID relief package.
In January 2021, the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief program continued the pause on the payments for low-income individuals.
President Biden campaigned on immediately canceling student loan debt, but it appears that he is backing out of that promise.
Last week, Pres. Biden revealed a $6 trillion budget plan with a heavy focus on childcare and infrastructure. Missing from the budget, however, was his promise of student loan forgiveness.
According to EducationData.Org, approximately 42.9 million Americans with federal student loan debt each owe an average of $36,406 for their federal loans.
Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren have called for forgiveness of $50,000 or more per person. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also called for $50,000 in student loan forgiveness.
In April 2021, Pres. Biden requested that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona prepare a memo on the president’s legal authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student debt.
Today, Biden’s regulatory agenda was released. The agenda includes a student loan forgiveness proposal, but the details are limited. According to the proposal, the Education Dept. plans to improve loan forgiveness programs by April 2022, but not in time for the 40 million Americans who will be restarting payments shortly.