4 suggestions for student loan borrowers after Biden’s big talk

Last night, President Biden gave his first speech on the state of the Union at a joint congressional session. Biden focused his speech on three major crises affecting the nation – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (and the response from the United States and its allies), the Covid-19 pandemic, and rising inflation.

But Biden did not mention student loan relief, an issue that affects more than 40 million Americans during his hour-long speech. Here’s what it means for borrowers.

Biden does not expect Congress to act on student loan forgiveness

Biden has gone through a long list of legislative initiatives that he hopes Congress will take in the coming months, including economic relief, increased domestic production and voting rights. He called on Congress to pass a series of specific bills. But he did not ask Congress to pass legislation to ease student loans.

This is important because White House officials have repeatedly avoided questions about whether Biden would grant a sweeping student loan pardon through executive action alone. Biden has expressed uncertainty as to whether he has sufficient legal authority to act unilaterally to cancel student debt, but administration officials have consistently said he will sign a bill to forgive student loans passed by Congress. However, there does not appear to be such a bill, and the President’s failure to ask Congress to pass a student loan forgiveness bill could be a recognition that such legislation would not be a priority for Congressional Democrats, who hold only a small majority in both Parliament and the Senate. If Congress does not pass student loan forgiveness legislation, executive action may be the only way to further alleviate it.

Biden did not mention student loan forgiveness or other student loan relief – not at all

Excluding student loans altogether from his speech, Biden did not even support the relief already granted to borrowers under his rule, although he praised his other achievements over the past year, including the passage of the U.S. Infrastructure Law. Over the past year, the Department of Education has approved more than $ 16 billion in student loan write-offs and has extended relief under existing federal loan programs, most notably the Public Forgiveness Loan. Biden also extended the ongoing pause in most student loan and interest payments, saving additional billions in borrowers.

But Biden also did not offer the prospect of further student loan relief during his speech, such as another student loan extension or additional student loan write-off initiatives.

Supporters unhappy with Biden’s failure to discuss student loans

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

“We remain optimistic that President Biden would acknowledge the $ 1.7 trillion student debt crisis that is affecting more than 45 million Americans – we are disappointed that he failed to do so,” said Debt Crisis, a student advocacy group. statement. “The cost of education and the huge debt that looms over American families remains one of the most difficult economic issues of our time.”

“President Biden’s failure to address the costly debt of student loans tonight reflects his government’s insignificant efforts to crunch nearly $ 2 trillion since taking office.” said Braxton Brownington, a spokesman for Debt Collective – a debtors’ union that supports borrowers – in a statement.

“Encouraged by @POTUS” [State of the Union speech] & ready to keep fighting to build a better America. “It’s time to … #CancelStudentDebt,” MP Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) tweeted after Biden’s speech. Presley was one of the most outspoken members of Congress, urging Biden to take aggressive action on student loans, including enacting extensive cancellation through enforcement measures.

Uncertainty remains about further student loan relief

Although Biden did not discuss student loans during his speech, it does not necessarily mean that he closed the door for further relief. However, significant uncertainty remains.

For now, all indications are that federal student loan and interest payments will be repeated after May 1, the expiration date of Biden’s most recent extension. However, officials have been careful not to label the latest extension as “final”, as they did last year’s extension – a recognition that factors beyond their control could require further relief.

And while Biden has made it clear that he does not intend to eliminate the debt of all student loans, the administration has hinted that further “targeted” relief could be on the way as the Department of Education looks for additional ways to modify existing and existing programs. to extend eligibility. Management may also consider other mechanisms to provide relief to borrowers, such as easing certain bankruptcy restrictions, cracking down on loan companies involved in misbehavior, and simplifying the loan service system.

Borrowers’ advocates have argued that the administration’s steps so far have fallen far short of what is needed to have a substantially broad impact on borrowers. It remains to be seen whether Biden will implement more sweeping changes.

Further reading of a student loan

Thousands qualify for extended student loan forgiveness scheme

Is Biden extending student loan termination beyond May? It’s a bit complicated.

Biden student loan forgiveness now exceeds $ 16 billion after new wave of approvals

One Million Borrowers May Benefit From Extended Student Loan Forgiveness From This Month, Official Biden Says

Leave a Comment