• October 6, 2022

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Here’s why student loan forgiveness has been delayed.

Here’s what you need to know — and what it means for your student loans.

Student Loans

If your student loans haven’t been canceled, you’re not alone. President Joe Biden hasn’t enacted any wide-scale student loan cancellation since becoming president. Here are 5 potential reasons why student loan forgiveness has been delayed.


1. Biden hasn’t decided whether to cancel student loans

First, Biden hasn’t decided whether to cancel student loans. While there is significant speculation that Biden will forgive student loans for millions of student loan borrowers, there’s no guarantee. The White House denied a report that Biden has decided whether to proceed with $10,000 of student loan forgiveness. It has been nearly six weeks since Biden said he would decide “within weeks,” but Biden hasn’t made any further announcements. The good news for student loan borrowers is that since becoming president, Biden has canceled $25 billion of student loans. The bad news is that wide-scale student loan forgiveness still eludes student loan borrowers.


2. Biden has decided to cancel student loans, but he delayed the decision

Second, Biden could have decided to cancel student loans but he has delayed the decision. For example, there was speculation that Biden could have announced wide-scale student loan cancellation last week while delivering the commencement address at the University of Delaware. However, the tragedy in Uvalde unfolded earlier that week, which could have delayed any announcement. The president didn’t reference student debt or student loan forgiveness during his remarks at the University of Delaware. Since then, Congress and the president have been focused on potential gun control legislation. This development could have further delayed any potential announcement.


3. Biden doesn’t have the legal authority to cancel student loans but is trying to find a solution

Third, the Biden administration could have concluded that the president doesn’t have the unilateral legal authority to enact wide-scale student loan cancellation without further authorization from Congress. If this is true, then Biden could be delaying any announcement on student loan forgiveness until his administration finds a comprehensive solution to fix student debt. For example, the U.S. Department of Education could explore regulatory changes to help cancel student loans. Alternatively, the White House could work with Congress on potential legislative actions that could help specific student loan borrowers access student loan forgiveness. For example, there is bipartisan legislation to make it easier for student loan borrowers to get student loan cancellation through bankruptcy.


4. Democrats want Biden to cancel $50,000 of student loans, so Biden is reconsidering student loan forgiveness

Fourth, some progressive Democrats in Congress want Biden to cancel up to $50,000 of student loans for student loan borrowers. Previously, Biden said he’s not considering $50,000 of student loan forgiveness. However, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have been lobbying the president to change his mind. Their actions could lead to a renewed push for Biden to forgive $50,000 of student loans. If Biden reconsiders the amount of student loan forgiveness, this could be another reason for delayed action on any potential wide-scale student loan cancellation.

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5. Biden decided not to cancel student loans and will focus on other ways to provide student loan relief

Fifth, Biden could have decided not to cancel student loans and instead will focus on other ways to provide student loan relief. For example, Biden could continue to provide targeted student loan forgiveness through existing federal programs. Alternatively, Biden could continue to make major changes to student loan forgiveness by improving income-driven repayment and fixing public service loan forgiveness. Biden also has extended temporary student loan relief four times through August 31, 2022, which has helped more than 40 million student loan borrowers. Collectively, these actions have simplified student loan repayment, provided increased student loan forgiveness and helped borrowers pay off their student loans faster. Student loan payments restart on September 1, 2022, so make sure you know your next steps. Here are some great ways to pay off student loans and save money:


Student Loans: Related Reading

Senators propose major changes to student loan forgiveness

Education Department announces major overhaul of student loan servicing

Navient agrees to cancel $3.5 million of student loans

How to qualify for $17 billion of student loan forgiveness

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