Biden may use income limit on student loan relief

Politics

President Joe Biden speaks as he meets with small business owners in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, Thursday, April 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(The Hill) — President Joe Biden is considering limiting student loan forgiveness to individuals who make below a specific income, three sources familiar with the issue told The Washington Post.

Officials are looking at limiting cancellation to those making below $125,000 or $150,000 as an individual or $250,000 or $300,000 for couples who file taxes together.

“There’s different proposals floating around the administration about how to structure this,” one person told the Post. “Over the course of the past week especially, administration and congressional staff have focused the conversation on debt cancellation on how to best meet the president’s desire to ensure the most economically vulnerable people with student debt benefit from any action.”

One of the arguments Republicans use against student loan relief is that it will benefit higher income Americans who are capable of paying back their debt. 

The sources told the outlet the conversations are still in early stages and plenty of changes may unfold before an official plan is announced. 

Earlier this week, Biden denied debt relief would be as high as $50,000 per borrower, but said he would have more to say on the issue in the upcoming weeks. 

“I am considering dealing with some debt reduction,” Biden said. “I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction, but I’m in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness and I’ll have an answer on that in the next couple of weeks.”

Since his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden has promised to eliminate at least $10,000 in student debt per borrower, but fellow Democrats and activists are pushing for more ahead of the midterm elections.

Biden has been holding off the issue by continuing to extend the student loan payment freeze that began during the pandemic due to the loss of jobs. 

Biden has extended the resumption of payments twice, with borrowers set to begin paying again at the beginning of September.

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