No, President Joe Biden has not promised to forgive everyone’s student loans.
Here’s what you need to know.
Did Biden promise to forgive everyone’s student loans? It’s a popular claim championed by advocates of large-scale student loan forgiveness. The argument goes like this: Biden, as a presidential candidate, campaigned for student loan forgiveness of up to $10,000 for each borrower. If elected president, some say Biden has promised to enact large-scale student loan forgiveness. However, a year into the president’s term, there has been no large-scale student loan cancellation. Therefore, the claim is that Biden failed to deliver on his campaign promise. Now, some student advocates and borrowers want Biden to enact large-scale student loan forgiveness by decree because they claim he promised to do so. Is it true? Not exactly.
Student Loan Forgiveness: What Biden Really Said
As a presidential candidate, Biden has expressed support for large-scale student loan forgiveness. Other presidential candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and now Vice President Kamala, have also backed various forms of student loan forgiveness. For example, Sanders proposed student loan forgiveness for all $1.7 trillion in private and federal student loans. Warren proposed to cancel 95% of student loans. As senators, Sanders and Warren proposed legislation in Congress to support their student loan proposals. Biden has championed student loan forgiveness during the campaign trail and on social media. However, Biden was not a US senator when he ran for president in 2020 and therefore did not sponsor any legislation in Congress. That said, other lawmakers have offered a comparable plan to forgive up to $10,000 in student loans for borrowers. Here’s an example (among many) of Biden’s tweets about canceling student loans ahead of the 2020 election:
“Additionally, we should cancel a minimum of $10,000/person in federal student loans, as proposed by Senator Warren and his colleagues. Young people and other students in debt have borne the brunt of the latest crisis. This shouldn’t happen again. »
In this tweet, Biden supports a Warren proposal. If elected president, Biden says he would support and sign legislation canceling $10,000 in student loans for student borrowers. This is different from explicitly stating that he would use executive power, if he has such power, to cancel student loans. As a former senator, Biden understands that Congress passes laws and the president can sign them. Notably, the main Congressional proposal for student loan cancellation also would not cancel student loans for every student borrower. (Here’s Who Won’t Get Student Loan Forgiveness).
Student loan cancellation: Biden canceled $15 billion in student loans
Since becoming president, Biden has forgiven $15 billion in student loans. It also extended temporary student loan relief three times for a total of 15 months. Biden’s extensions of student loan relief will have collectively saved student borrowers an estimated $75 billion in student loan interest. (How Federal Student Loans Will Change This Year). Biden canceled student loans through targeted student loan cancellation based on existing federal student loan programs. You may disagree with Biden’s stance on student loan forgiveness. You may think there should be more student loan forgiveness, less student loan forgiveness, or no student loan forgiveness. You may think student loan forgiveness should happen faster or slower. However, Biden has always supported $10,000 in student loan forgiveness for borrowers since he was a presidential candidate. (Here are 7 ways to get a lower student loan repayment).
Biden supported canceling student loans
Affirming his support for a policy during a presidential campaign does not mean that he will unilaterally enforce that policy as president. There are other factors that determine whether the President’s agenda can be implemented, including, among others, the makeup of Congress. Have there been large-scale student loan cancellations? No. (The student loan forgiveness could be the reason the Democrats lose the midterm elections). Biden has said he’s ready to forgive student loans for millions of borrowers, but Congress has failed to pass any large-scale student loan forgiveness. Congress probably won’t either. Biden has said he will sign any student loan forgiveness legislation that Congress sends him. Biden also said he doesn’t believe he has the executive power to enact large-scale student loan forgiveness without further authorization from Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the president does not have the authority to unilaterally cancel student loans without Congress. More than 80 members of Congress say the president should release a memo from the US Department of Education that could indicate whether the president has such legal authority. However, this memo on student loan forgiveness remained redacted.
Student loans: next steps
The next steps for your student loans are preparing for the restart of federal student loan payments. Student loan relief is expected to end soon, and there is no guarantee that Congress or the President will cancel student loans. The White House confirmed yesterday that student loan repayments will resume on May 1, 2022. That means you need to understand all of your student loan repayment options now. Do not wait the last minute.
Here are some popular ways to save money and pay off student loans faster: