President-elect Joe Biden is looking to immediately relieve some pressure off of Americans by asking Congress to forgive $10,000 in student loan debt for all borrowers.
An aide for Biden informed the media of the President-elect's plans on Friday afternoon. The official also revealed that Biden will urge congress to extend the payment pause that is scheduled to expire this month. The $900 billion pandemic aid package passed in December didn't mention extending the payment pause for student loan borrowers which has been in effect since March 2020.
Biden and other financial advisers seem to believe that the strain caused by the pandemic has left many Americans unable to make these payments. A recent Pew survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of Americans said it would be difficult for them to resume paying their loans this month. Also, almost 90 percent of borrowers have taken advantage of the government's option to pause their payments during the pandemic.
It's unknown how long Biden will extend this pause. Yet, the President-elect's plan to cancel $10,000 in student loan debt keeps in line with his campaign promise. Still, he's facing pressure from citizens and other politicians to cancel more of their debt to bypass congress to do so.
"All you need is the flick of a pen," New York Democratic senator Chuck Schumer—who is in favor of Biden canceling $50,000 in debt—said in December. "You don't need Congress." Also, Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged Biden to use executive action to give out debt forgiveness.