Student record

40% of Americans think Biden will forgive some student loan debt before midterms

MMost Americans believe President Joe Biden will cancel student loans — and a large proportion also believe he will soon.

In a new survey from Money and Decision Intelligence Morning Consult, 40% of respondents said they thought the Biden administration was very or somewhat likely to write off at least some student debt over the next six months.

Another 39% said they thought it was unlikely to happen that quickly and 20% said they had no opinion. (Numbers do not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding.)

The Money/Morning Consult survey also asked Americans if they thought Biden was likely to forgive student loan debt. Some 56% of respondents said they thought it would forgive up to $5,000 per borrower, although 21% said it would not. The others didn’t know or had no opinion.

Student Loan Forgiveness Timeline

So far, the president has avoided giving definitive answers about what he plans to do to help the country’s 44 million student borrowers. Although Biden said during his campaign that he would eliminate $10,000 per person so that young people would not have to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis, he has since expressed hesitation about canceling the loans through executive action. In late April, Biden told reporters at a White House event that he was “considering reducing his debt,” but not to the $50,000 level some of his colleagues had announced.

At that same event, he mentioned that he would have answers “in the next few weeks.” Federal student loan payments are on hold until Aug. 31, and some of Biden’s aides have suggested he will make a decision on the pardon before then.

Money/morning consultationssurvey, conducted between May 5 and May 9, asked 2,210 American adults how they felt about the trajectory. In general, tThe longer the timeline, the more people believed that some student loan forgiveness was on the horizon.

Half of those polled said the White House is likely to cancel student loans next year. And 54% said they believe it will happen within the next two years, when Biden is expected to end his first term.

The collection of people who predicted forgiveness within six months was more or less balanced across age groups. Self-identified Democrats (50%) were more optimistic than Republicans (37%) in saying Biden will cancel student loans by October.

Also of note: If Biden waits six months to clear student debt, that means the decision could land just before midterm, which experts say could sway turnout. Mark your calendars.

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