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A White House official said the Biden administration is considering extending the pause on student loan payments — which is currently set to expire in less than two months — although nothing official has been decided yet.
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White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said on the “Pod Save America” podcast last week that a decision on canceling student debt through executive action will be made before payment pause expires on May 1, CNBC reported.
“The president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the break expires, or he’s going to extend the break,” Klain said. “The question [of] whether or not there is executive action [on] canceling student debt when payments resume is a decision we will make before payments resume.
Student loan repayments were suspended in March 2020 as part of the federal government’s efforts to help Americans deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pause has already been extended several times, most recently in December 2021, when President Joe Biden pushed the date back to May 1 from its earlier expiration date of January 31.
Read more: President Biden extends student loan repayment suspension through May 1, citing COVID concerns
Some lawmakers and consumer advocates want to see Biden take a more proactive stance on student debt, but so far that hasn’t happened. As previously reported by GOBankingRates, congressional efforts to cancel all student debt have stalled, so the focus has turned to Biden’s conviction to take executive action that would cancel up to $50,000 in debt. debt per borrower. Others have suggested a smaller debt forgiveness of $10,000.
Many Democrats support such action, but just as many Republicans oppose it. Opponents say canceling student debt for current borrowers would be unfair to those who have already paid off their loans. Proponents counter that providing financial relief so borrowers can save for retirement or buy homes would have a longer-term economic benefit.
So far, however, no pardon package has been approved. And as of Monday morning, no official decision had been made on extending the payment break.
“Right now people don’t have to pay their loans,” Klain said on the podcast. “And so I think dealing with the issue of the executive branch – what we should be doing about it, what powers are it, how much we should be doing – that’s something we’ll be dealing with later.”
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