More than 180 organizations wrote to Biden urging him to extend the student loan payment pause.
They said borrowers should not make payments until the debt cancellation is “fully implemented.”
Payments are currently resuming on September 1, with no widespread relief announcement.
Nearly 200 organizations want to make sure federal student loan borrowers don’t pay a dime on their debt until President Joe Biden cancels some of it.
On Thursday, 180 organizations led by advocacy group Student Borrower Protection Center signed a letter urging Biden to cut student debt and extend the current pause on most federal student loan payments that expires after Aug. 31.
With recent reports suggesting Biden is consider $10,000 in aid for borrowers making less than $150,000 a year, proponents fear targeting the aid will knock out the borrowers who need it most — and they want to make sure payments don’t resume before the waiver is the loan reaches all federal borrowers’ bills.
Groups, including the NAACP and unions such as AFSCME, wrote that they “strongly urge your administration not to threaten the financial security of those with student debt as an inflation-fighting tactic. It has been tested and does not require an opt-in to participate and to fully enforce this policy before a student loan account is due.”
“People with student debts cannot be required to make payments on loans that your administration has promised to cancel,” she added.
Mike Pierce, Executive Director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, previously: spoke to Insider regarding the bureaucratic hurdles that would come with targeting student loan alleviation. As we’ve seen in the past with income-driven repayment plans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, simple paperwork mistakes can block borrowers from getting relief for which they qualify, and Pierce said the same could happen if borrowers had to take individual action. to access broad debt cancellation.
“You’re not making the policy more progressive because it will be difficult for people to demonstrate that they have a low enough income to take advantage,” Pierce said†
Biden will probably to announce broad waiver of student loans in July or August, but another extension of the payment pause seems unlikely given his government’s inflation concerns. Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, previously told The New York Times that “the key economic fact here is that if the debt service and debt relief were to occur at about the same time, the net inflationary effect should be neutral.”
Republican lawmakers also have quoted inflation as a reason not to extend the break and to cancel student debt, some even introduce legislation to resume payments and block broad debt relief. But proponents and Democratic lawmakers have insisted that now is the time for Biden to go big and make sure it’s a smooth process that all federal borrowers have access to.
“It’s important that borrowers get relief quickly and not be bothered by unnecessary roadblocks and obligations,” Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar recently wrote to the Education Department. “The American public will depend on your agency’s ability to deliver debt forgiveness quickly and efficiently, regardless of the effort and resources required.”
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