Student loans: Biden plans to extend freeze
President Joe Biden’s administration is considering extending the federal student loan repayment freeze before it expires in May, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said in an interview this week.
Asked about a legal memo from the Department of Education on the president’s authority to cancel student debt on the “Pod Save America” podcast, Klain said, “The president is going to consider what we should do on student debt before the expiration of the break, or he’ll extend the break.
“Joe Biden is currently the only president in history where no one has paid his student loans during his entire presidency,” Klain added.
Klain also said executive action on student debt cancellation would be decided before payments resume.
“Right now people don’t have to repay their loans, and so I think dealing with the issue of the executive, what we should do about it, what are its powers, how much we should do about it topic, that’s something we’re going to deal with later,” Klain said.
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In December, Biden extended the freeze on federal student loan payments through May 1, citing economic hardship amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The moratorium began under President Donald Trump at the start of the pandemic. More than 40 million Americans have gone nearly two years without required payments or interest on $1.7 trillion in student loans.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday that the Biden administration “will continue to assess and review as we get closer to May.”
“Usually there’s a period of time where you have to make a decision, or at least let lenders know what to prepare for, but I don’t have anything to predict right now,” he said. she stated.
During his presidential campaign, Biden supported canceling up to $10,000 in student debt for each borrower, though he also said the decision would have to come from Congress.
Contributor: Chris Quintana