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He said borrowers should use this extra time to prepare for the resumption of payments.
But some lawmakers and advocates said this extra time should be used to pay off student debt.
Last month, President Joe Biden gave 43 million federal student loan borrowers an additional three-month Christmas present.
While the president said borrowers should use this extra time to prepare to resume payments on May 1, some lawmakers and advocates have said it should be used to pay off student debt.
On December 22, the Department of Education announced that it would move the deadline for resuming student loan payments from February 1 to May 1, citing the variant Omicron coronavirus as the primary reason for the change. Without specifying whether this would be the “final” extension, contrary to the August announcement, Biden urged federal borrowers in a statement to use the additional time to prepare for repayment in 90 days.
“In taking this step, I also ask all student loan borrowers to do their part: make the most of the Department of Education’s resources to help prepare for the resumption of payments; examine options for reducing payments through income payment plans; explore public service loan forgiveness; and make sure you’re vaccinated and boosted when eligible, ”Biden said in December.
The Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, echoed the sentiment and said in a statement that the ministry “will continue to provide tools and support to borrowers so that they can participate in a payment plan that is sensitive to their needs. Financial situation, such as a plan”. it adds to the nearly $ 12 billion student debt that Biden has written off for specific groups of borrowers, such as those scammed by for-profit schools, since he took office.
Top lawmakers on the mass cancellation of student debt have applauded Biden’s extended suspension of payments. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley said in a statement that the hiatus allowed borrowers to “make ends meet” and pay for basic necessities, but still they want Biden to run his loan forgiveness campaign.
“We continue to call on President Biden to take executive action to write off $ 50,000 in student debt, which will help close the racial wealth gap for borrowers and accelerate the recovery of our economy,” lawmakers said.
Yesterday, President Biden announced that he was extending the pause on student loan payments for 90 days.
Today would be a great day for a follow-up ad that is going to #CancelStudentDebt!
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 23, 2021
Supporters of student loan cancellation agree. Natalia Abrams, president of the Student Debt Crisis Center, said in a statement that the Omicron variant is “a chilling reminder that the pandemic remains a serious concern and that Americans cannot be crushed by student debt while burdened with this crisis of health and economic.
While Biden pledged during his campaign to pass a $ 10,000 student loan forgiveness, he has yet to deliver on that promise, and some lawmakers have said it could cost a majority over Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.
Alexandria OcasioCortez of New York said last month that it was “really delusional” to think that Democrats can get re-elected if they don’t act on voters’ priorities, like student debt.
Vice President Kamala Harris addressed supporters’ concerns in a “Face the Nation” interview late last month, she said. It should remain “vigilant”, but has not provided specific means of obtaining relief for borrowers.
“Well, I think we need to keep doing what we’re doing and figure out how we can creatively ease the pressure on students because of their student loan debt,” Harris said.