President Joe Biden’s administration is “preparing to restart” the payment of federal student loan debt, which was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona told the Senate Appropriations Committee during a hearing on Thursday that the government is “preparing to restart” the payment process.
Cardona was asked during the hearing about a remark about the debt ceiling made by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday.
“If you buy a car, you are expected to pay the monthly payments. If you buy a home, you are expected to pay the mortgage every month. That is the expectation,” Jean-Pierre said.
Cardona said he agreed with the statement, and Republican Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama said, “That same logic must apply to student loans.”
Cardona responded, “We agree and we’re preparing to restart repayment because the emergency period is over, and we’re preparing our borrowers to restart.”
He added that the HEROES Act, which the Biden administration argues grants the Secretary of Education the authority to reduce or eliminate federal student loan debt obligations, “provides me the opportunity to create a waiver for those who are impacted significantly by the pandemic — very similar to small businesses the year before, where Congress provided a little bit of support.”
The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the orders made by a lower court that blocked Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan, but payments are set to resume either 60 days after June 30 or 60 days after the court’s ruling, should it be released before June 30.
Barry Coleman, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s vice president of counseling and education programs, told CNBC that borrowers shouldn’t “wait until this case is resolved. Don’t wait until you know just before payments are due again, start planning right now.”
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