(The Hill) — Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Sunday said the Biden administration is due to announce a decision on whether to extend a pause on federal student loan debt in the next week, butting up to an Aug. 31 deadline when the current moratorium on loan payments expires.
Cardona told NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd the announcement was forthcoming but declined to share any other details.
“We know August 31st is a date that many people are waiting to hear something from,” the secretary said. “We’ve been talking daily about this, and I can tell you the American people will hear within the next week or so.”
Last week, Cardona teased a similar announcement was coming soon. It’s not yet known if the administration is set to extend a freeze on student loan payments and interest accrual or if the Education Department will also announce a more permanent solution, such as canceling some debt per borrower.
The Biden administration has faced pressure from some Democratic lawmakers to cancel up to $50,000 in debt per borrower. The president has championed forgiving up to $10,000 in debt but no official announcement has been made on debt forgiveness.
The Education Department has already made strides to forgive student loan debt, which is estimated to be at $1.7 trillion spread across 45 million Americans.
The Biden administration has cleared $32 billion in student loan relief for more than 1.6 million borrowers, mostly from students who were defrauded or misled by schools or through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PLSF), which forgives debt for those who work in public service or other qualifying jobs.
Cardona on Sunday said the PSLF has forgiven more than $10 billion for borrowers to date under the Biden administration.
“Public Service Loan Forgiveness was broken,” he said. “We fixed it so that our teachers, our nurses, can get loan forgiveness right away.”