A group of House and Senate members sent President Biden a letter asking for the results of the student loan forgiveness legal review that took place last April — and pushing him to cancel debt if he does have that authority. Here’s what you need to know about this week’s student loans trends and how they could impact your balance.
1 current trend within student loans for the week of Jan. 31, 2022
1. Dozens of lawmakers request the results of Biden’s student loan forgiveness legal review
Last week, more than 80 lawmakers sent a letter to President Biden calling on him to announce whether he has the authority to cancel student loans without congressional approval. Among the members of Congress included in the letter are Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer, both of whom have advocated for up to $50,000 of student loan forgiveness since the beginning of Biden’s presidency. The letter states that widespread forgiveness is “crucial to making a meaningful difference in the lives of current students, borrowers and their families.”
In April 2021, Biden directed the U.S. Department of Education to conduct a legal review as to whether or not he had the authority to forgive student loan debt without an act of Congress. A heavily redacted version of the memo was released in late 2021, but the full version has yet to be released to the public.
How this affects student loans
One year into his presidency, Biden has focused on revising preexisting federal student loan relief programs instead of pursuing blanket student loan forgiveness. Through these incremental changes, billions of dollars in student loans have been forgiven over the last year.
However, widespread forgiveness was one of Biden’s major campaign proposals, and congressional Democrats have continued advocating for the idea. This most recent letter claims that cancelling $50,000 of student loan debt for every federal borrower would “give 36 million Americans permanent relief and aid the millions more who will eventually resume payments their best chance at thriving in our recovering economy.”
The lawmakers sending this letter are pushing for Biden to publicly confirm or deny his legal authority to cancel student debt before student loan payments resume in May. If the memo states that Biden can cancel student debt without congressional approval, he would face even more pressure from Democrats to take action.
Here’s how you can get prepared
Whether you’re new to student loans or well into repayment, it’s wise to stay informed about how your student loan rates could change. During 2022, more opportunities for cheaper loans or loan forgiveness could open up; keep an eye on the Bankrate student loans news hub for the latest trends.