U.S. President Joe Biden announces additional military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine as well as fresh sanctions against Russia, during a speech in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, April 28, 2022.
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters
President Joe Biden said Thursday that he’ll have his answer on student loan forgiveness within a couple of weeks.
“I’m not considering $50,000 in debt reduction,” Biden said during a speech in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. “But I am in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness.
“I’ll have an answer on that in the next couple of weeks.”
The president’s comments are likely to disappoint advocates and some Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who’ve been pushing him to cancel $50,000 or more per borrower.
The country’s outstanding education debt balance exceeds $1.7 trillion and poses a larger burden to households than credit card or auto debt. Roughly a quarter of student loan borrowers — or 10 million people — are estimated to be in delinquency or default.
Biden didn’t say how much of the debt he was considering erasing, although on the campaign trail he expressed support for $10,000 in relief.
Cancelling $10,000 per borrower would wipe out $321 billion of federal student loans, and eliminate the entire balance for nearly 12 million people. Around 70% of student loan borrowers would still be left with the debt.
Wisdom Cole, the national director of the NAACP Youth & College Division, said that all student debt had to be cancelled for the crisis to be resolved.
“For the Black community, who’ve accumulated debt over generations of oppression, anything less is unacceptable,” Cole tweeted.
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