Education secretary says announcement on student loans coming in ‘next week or so’
The federal government is preparing to make a decision on student loans in the “next week or so,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Sunday as an Aug. 31 deadline approaches for when a moratorium on federal student loan payments expires.
Cardona said the Biden administration has been having daily discussions but declined to say if a final decision has been reached on whether to extend the 30-month-old student loans pause or announce further steps to cancel a certain amount of borrowers’ debt.
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“From day one, we’ve been really focused on making sure we’re protecting our students and our borrowers,” Cardona told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. “We know Aug. 31 is a date that many people are waiting to hear something from. We’ve been talking daily about this, and I can tell you that the American people will hear within the next week or so.”
The decision has come down to the wire with less than two weeks left before payments and interest are due to resume on Sept. 1. More than 100 Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Biden and Cardona last month urging them to extend the pause for a seventh time.
Former President Donald Trump introduced the pause in March 2020 amid pandemic lockdowns and extended it twice before leaving office. Biden has so far extended it four more times and officials expect him to extend it again through midterm elections.
The White House is reportedly mulling whether to cancel out $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower. Some legislators and groups have advocated for canceling out $50,000 or higher per borrower.
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Meanwhile, a group of Republicans have raised ethical concerns over White House employees who may be supportive of debt cancellation, arguing that staffers would benefit, as they owe a collective $4.7 million in student loans.