With the federal loan payment moratorium deadline only days away, borrowers could see some relief in the coming week, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona teased Sunday. 

Cardona declined to detail any plan with NBC host Chuck Todd, but did say the administration knows millions of borrowers are waiting for an answer as to whether the deadline will be extended again.

“We know Aug. 31 is a date that many people are waiting to hear something from,” Cardona said. 

“We’ve been talking daily about this, and I can tell you the American people will hear within the next week or so,” he added. 

Student loan borrowers gather near The White House to tell President Biden to cancel student debt on May 12, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Initially, Biden planned to announce the cancellation order that month.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We, The 45 Million

“Is it fair to say it won’t be nothing,” Todd pressed. 

“Well, I don’t have any news to announce today, Chuck. But I will tell you the American people will hear directly from us because we recognize this is an important issue across the country,” Cardona said. 

The secretary previously hinted at an announcement earlier this month, telling CBS News that borrowers will “know directly and soon” from the administration. 

For months, President Biden and the White House have teased forgiving millions of dollars of federal student loans. A Washington Post report in May revealed that the administration had been looking at canceling up to $10,000 of debt per borrower. 

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden has extended the pause several times.
REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

The loan forgiveness would reportedly be limited to borrowers who earned less than $150,000 in the previous year as well as married couples filing jointly who earned less than $300,000. 

Initially, Biden planned to announce the cancellation order that month, however the idea was reportedly scrapped due to the horrific mass shooting at Rob Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 

At the time, Biden emphasized publicly that he had “not yet” made a decision. 

For months, progressive Democrats have pressured the president to cancel up even more debt, reaching as much as $50,000 per borrower – a move Biden flatly rejected. 

If the administration moves forward with the plan, forgiving $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower could cost the government more than $200 billion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Payments for federal student loans have been paused since March 2020, when then-president Donald Trump started the moratorium to provide relief for borrowers at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Biden has since extended the pause several times, and pushed the deadline to Aug. 31 in April, citing the ongoing pandemic and the “unprecedented economic disruption it caused.” 

While no formal announcement about an overarching forgiveness plan has been released, the administration has taken several steps to provide relief for millions of borrowers, including those derailed or misled by schools. 

“ Let me just mention public service loan forgiveness was broken. We fixed it so that our teachers, our nurses can get loan forgiveness right away,” Cardona said Sunday. 

“We’ve forgiven over $10 billion in public service loan forgiveness to date. And we’re asking folks to go on Studentaid.gov to find out if you’re eligible now.”


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