As the May 1 deadline to resume federal student loan payments approaches, President Joe Biden faces pressure from some Democrats and debt relief advocates to keep loan payments on pause at least through the midterm elections.
Advocates for student debt relief argue that allowing the payments to resume ahead of the midterms could depress turnout of the Democratic base, especially as the president has been unable to deliver on key legislative priorities — such as his Build Back Better agenda and voting rights — and as inflation concerns continue to grip the country.
Allowing payments to resume, some Democrats argue, could come at a political cost for the party as it tries to defend its slim majorities in the House and the Senate.
A White House official said Friday that the administration didn’t have “any decisions to preview yet” about the payment pause but stressed that Americans haven’t been required to “pay a single dime” in federal student loans since Biden took office.
62% of student loan borrowers who responded to a survey said their debt was negatively impacting their mental health, according to polling firm Momentive. To find out if there’s light at the end of the tunnel we talked to student financial planner Mark Kantrowitz on whether that debt might be forgiven, and what President Joe Biden can do about it.