Did Biden Say He Was Planning to Forgive All Student Loan Debt?

The president has repeatedly extended the pandemic pause on loan repayments.

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Claim

U.S. President Joe Biden said he plans to forgive all student loan debt.

Rating

Research In Progress
Research In Progress
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Fact Check

U.S. President Joe Biden is looking at different options to forgive some student loan debt, but the extent of this forgiveness is unknown, and he has never mentioned an amount. 

According to a report on CBS News, Biden was speaking at a 90-minute White House meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on April 25, 2022, where he spoke about his plans regarding student debt. While details were not revealed, according to Rep. Tony Cárdenas, Biden said he was open to forgiving debt for some college students. 

“The president never mentioned an amount nor did the president say that he was going to wipe out all student debt,” Cárdenas said. “He did a dialogue with us about the differential between young people who went to public schools or private schools, and we CHC members said he should focus on both. And he said, ‘Okay, good to know.'”

“He’s serious about it, and he’s looking to do something,” Cárdenas added. “He’s looking to do something that we would very much like, and he’s hoping to do it soon.”

According to The New York Times, Biden has extended the pandemic pause on student loan repayments four times, most recently until Aug. 31, 2022. 

When running for president in 2020, Biden backed the idea of canceling some student debt. “I’m going to make sure that everybody in this generation gets $10,000 knocked off of their student debt as we try to get out of this God-awful pandemic,” he said. Now many are calling on him to fulfill that campaign promise. 

During the meeting, Cárdenas called on the president to carry out executive action on forgiving at least $10,000 in student debt if Congress could not pass legislation. In response, Biden reportedly “smiled and said, ‘You’re going to like what I do on that, I’m looking to do something on that and I think you’re going to like what I do.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated on April 25, 2022, that the administration would make a decision between now and August on canceling student debt, or extending the pause on payments. Officials are said to be examining whether Biden has the authority to unilaterally cancel debt through executive actions. 

Given that many secondary sources are claiming that Biden is planning to cancel some student debt, but details about this are yet to be revealed, we rate this claim as “Research in Progress.” We will update this post as more information becomes available. 

Sources:

“Biden Tells Congressional Hispanic Caucus He’s Looking at Forgiving Some Federal Student Loan Debt.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-options-forgiving-student-loan-debt/. Accessed 27 Apr. 2022.

Cowley, Stacy, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs. “The Biden Student Debt Question: Will He or Won’t He?” The New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/26/business/biden-student-loans.html. Accessed 27 Apr. 2022.