Student loan borrowers don’t need ‘quick fixes’: Senator Patty Murray

  • Sen. Patty Murray said Biden’s four-month extension of student loan payment suspension was not enough.
  • She continued to seek an extension until 2023 to allow time for permanent fixes in the lending industry.
  • As Biden gives defaulting borrowers a fresh start, flaws in repayment plans persist.

Four months of additional relief for student borrowers isn’t enough, a top Democratic lawmaker has said.

There’s no doubt that Wednesday’s announcement by President Joe Biden — that he’s once again extending the pause on student loan repayments until August 31 — was good news for many borrowers, lawmakers and advocates. But Senate Education Committee Chair Patty Murray wants the president to have taken that relief a step further by extending the pause to 2023 and implementing permanent solutions to the student loan industry.

“I’m glad they took action today, but there’s still a long way to go,” Murray said in a statement. “This pause is urgently needed and will relieve the stress of so many borrowers, but we need lasting change and a student loan system that actually works for students and borrowers, not just quick fixes. .”

“I have outlined a clear plan for the administration to follow and I am happy to see that they intend to act to give struggling borrowers a fresh start,” she added. “But the administration also needs to cancel some of the debt for all borrowers and fix our student loan system once and for all, including fixing our income-based repayment system and creating a new debt forgiveness program. public service loans that work for our public servants.”

When payments were due to resume on May 1, Murray last month called on Biden to extend the pause until at least 2023 to give his administration the time it needs to “permanently fix” flaws in the lending industry. students, such as broken loan forgiveness programs. . One of his demands includes giving defaulting borrowers a fresh start and getting them back in good standing when they enter repayment, which Biden followed up in Wednesday’s announcement.

His other demands, like reforming income-based repayment plans and extending the civil service loan forgiveness waiver that allows ineligible past payments to count toward loan forgiveness, have not been addressed. , which justifies its calls for additional relief.

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez expressed similar concerns in a statement Wednesday.

“Before resuming student loan payments, I urge him to exercise full executive power under applicable law to cancel up to $50,000 in student loans,” Menendez said. “I also urge him to extend this break further – beyond August– to resolve long-standing issues related to Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Civil Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), and issues with Federal Student Loan Officers.

Biden’s statement on Wednesday included no mention of a broad student loan forgiveness. He said borrowers should work with the Education Department to ‘prepare for a return to repayment’, but Democratic lawmakers remain adamant payments should not resume until fixes are made. industry and that the debt will not be cancelled.

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