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Biden admin is 'talking daily' about student loan forgiveness, expects decision in ‘next week or so’

Student loan borrowers gather near The White House to tell President Biden to cancel student debt on May 12, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Paul Morigi | Getty Images

The Biden administration has been hinting at an announcement on broad student loan cancellation for weeks — and with less than two weeks to go before a moratorium on student loan repayment, interest and collections is set to expire, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Sunday that Americans can expect a decision from the administration "within the next week or so." 

"We know Aug. 31 is a date that many people are waiting to hear something from," Cardona said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We've been talking daily about this and I can tell you that the American people will hear within the next week or so from the President and the Department of Education on what we're going to be doing around that."

White House officials are zeroing in canceling $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers who earn either less than $125,000 or $150,000 per year, CNBC reports, but the administration has yet to confirm such plans.

The department's repayment freeze, which was first enacted in March 2020, has been extended four times since Biden took office and is set to end Aug. 31. 

Cardona's statement echoed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's statements from earlier this month, when she told reporters that Biden's decision on broader federal student loan forgiveness would come before the end of August.

"We're just going to continue to assess our options for cancellations ... so no decisions have been made on that [yet]," she said. "And the president has made clear it will — he'll have something before Aug. 31."

The Biden administration has already canceled more student loan debt than any other administration in U.S. history, forgiving nearly $32 billion in loans, including $13 billion for defrauded borrowers. 

More than 40 million Americans are saddled with student loan debt. If the Biden administration chooses to cancel $10,000 in loans per borrower without restrictions on who receives such relief, it would eliminate the entire balance for about 11.8 million borrowers and wipe out a total of $321 billion of federal student loans, according to the Federal Reserve

About half of Americans — 51% — support the $10,000-per-borrower proposal, according to a recent survey of 1,500 Americans from An Economist/YouGov. 

While Cardona remained tight-lipped about the specifics of any plan to enact widespread debt forgiveness, he told NBC's Chuck Todd that "the American people will hear directly" from the administration soon. He added: "We recognize that this is an important issue across the country."

Check out:

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Student loan forgiveness decision will come 'before Aug. 31,' Biden administration confirms: What you need to know

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