Student management

Student loan forgiveness not included in Biden’s budget – Will payment break be extended by May 1?

President Joe Biden’s $5.8 trillion budget proposal has a little something for everyone — except federal borrowers who hope the budget will include provisions to cancel some or all of their debt.

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The proposal does not include any direct student loan relief, such as payment forgiveness or interest relief, Forbes reported. Nor is there an extension to the student loan payment pause that went into effect two years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As it stands, the pause is still set to end on May 1, 2022, which means federal borrowers will have to resume payments on that date.

In terms of higher education, the proposal includes funds that would double the maximum allowable Pell Grant by 2029. These grants provide federal assistance to low-income students and do not need to be repaid. The proposal also includes $752 million in funding for HBCUs and $800 million to streamline and improve student loan servicing.

As Forbes noted, Congress must first approve the budget for it to pass, and it’s possible Biden’s proposal could be amended in Congress to include additional student loan relief. If that doesn’t happen, Biden could still use executive action to relieve federal student loan borrowers — something many Democrats and advocates have urged him to do.

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Biden could also use his executive powers to extend the payment break, which is another action supported by some lawmakers and advocates. As GOBankingRates previously reported, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) recently unveiled a four-point plan that would extend the pause until 2023 and forgive some borrowers’ student loans. Murray, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, urged Biden to consider his proposal.

White House officials, including Chief of Staff Ronald Klain, have said the Biden administration is considering executive action to help student borrowers. But so far, nothing concrete has been offered.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who has 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.