Student debt: Biden ‘not considering’ $50,000 loan forgiveness but will consider other options

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Federal borrowers will have to wait a little longer to find out how President Joe Biden intends to deal with growing student debt in the United States. One thing they shouldn’t expect is Biden forgiving $50,000 of debt per borrower, as some had hoped.

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In a speech Thursday at the White House, the president said he was “not considering” a $50,000 debt reduction, CNBC reported.

“But I am seriously considering whether or not there will be further debt forgiveness,” he added. “I will have an answer on this in the next few weeks.”

Biden gave no details on what his debt cancellation plan might look like. As a 2020 presidential candidate, he has expressed support for a $10,000 rebate per borrower, but that idea has been shelved since he moved into the White House.

As CNBC noted, canceling $10,000 per borrower would erase $321 billion in federal student loan debt. Nearly 12 million borrowers would have their debt completely eliminated, but about 70% would still end up with some form of student loan debt.

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As GOBankingRates previously reported, Biden did not include forgiveness or any other direct student loan relief in his $5.8 trillion budget proposal. That’s despite some lawmakers urging him to support a comprehensive loan forgiveness program.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) has been a strong supporter of writing off $50,000 or more per borrower. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) wants to go even further by canceling all federal student loan debt.

But most Republicans and some Democrats oppose these kinds of sweeping policies, so it could be difficult for Biden to enact them unless he issues an executive order.

The Biden administration recently canceled $7 billion in federal student loan debt for about 350,000 disabled borrowers. But much of his attention has focused on extending the moratorium on student loan payments that went into effect at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The president recently extended the moratorium until September 1, 2022 from an earlier date of May 1.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work has also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a BA in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting has earned him awards from the North Carolina Press Association, Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A North Carolina native who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story “Saint Christopher” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest short story competition. Two of her short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. Her first novel, Voodoo Hideaway, is published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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