Biden’s education secretary says student loan payment pause ‘may be’ extended and borrowers will be given ‘adequate notice’ before it happens

Uncertainty continues to loom for millions of student borrowers.

During a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for an update on whether federal borrowers should consider starting over to pay off their debt on September 1, when the current student loan payment break is set. expire. Cardona said “we recognize that while the economy has improved, many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet.”

“I have no information to share with you on when this would end…” Cardona added, referring to the student loan payment suspension. “I know we have a date, and it may be extended. Or it may start there. But what I will say is that our borrowers will have sufficient notice. And we will let you know. also. ”

Cardona did not specify what he meant by “adequate notice,” but in the past millions of federal borrowers have received little notice of the suspension of payments extensions. With the most recent, when payments were due to resume on May 1, borrowers were notified of the further extension on April 5, less than a month in advance.

Now, with both an extension of the student loan payment suspension and broad student loan relief on the table, there’s a lot of information borrowers don’t yet have. Recent reports have suggested Biden is considering $10,000 in relief for borrowers earning less than $150,000 a year, and The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the decision likely won’t be made until July or August, closer to the date on which payments are expected to resume.

In April, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the Department of Education for the lack of notice on student loan repayment.

“I think some people read these extensions as good policy, but I don’t think these people understand the panic and mess that is causing people to get so close to these deadlines just to prolong the uncertainty,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter in April. . “He doesn’t have the effect that people think he has.”

Cardona also clarified that while another extension is coming, borrowers should still expect to start repaying their debt “at some point.” For now, many Democratic lawmakers want to make sure Biden offers broad relief, and soon.

“Whether @POTUS cancels student debt, millions of hard-working Americans will have the chance to start their own business, buy their first home and save for retirement,” said Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. wrote on Twitter. “Let’s do it.”

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