Biden backs Democrats’ student debt cancellation push amid coronavirus outbreak

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is calling for student loan forgiveness, joining Democratic lawmakers and former opponents after previously opting for a more moderate approach.

“[W]e should forgive a minimum of $10,000/person of federal student loans, as proposed by Senator [Elizabeth] Warren and colleagues,” Biden tweeted. “Young people and other student debt holders bore the brunt of the last crisis. It shouldn’t happen again.”

The Trump administration and the Education Department (ED) committed to keeping interest rates on student loans at 0%, and ED Secretary Betsy DeVos said that borrowers struggling with repayment can put their loans in “administrative forbearance” interest-free. In addition, those with delinquent loans that are more than 31 days due will see their debt frozen for the time being.

Biden and Warren ahead of the Democratic presidential debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (Photo: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

House and Senate Democrats are pushing for more: As referenced by Biden, several senators last week proposed that the ED to cancel $10,000 in federal student loans for borrowers. Two House representatives this week proposed $30,000 in cancellation of federal student debt.

Consumer advocates welcomed Biden’s statement, framing it as a lifeline for borrowers who are struggling with their finances.

This is essential for the 29 million borrowers currently in repayment whose student loan debt would be substantially reduced or eliminated and for our country’s economic stability,” Center for Responsible Lending’s Ashley Harrington said in a statement. 

Aarthi is a writer for Yahoo Finance. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami

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