WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 09: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing in … [+]
Topline: During Thursday’s White House briefing, Trump said the federal government “may go further” than six months in waiving student loan payments. The $2 trillion CARES Act, the stimulus package designed to offset lost jobs and business because of coronavirus lockdowns, already provided a six-month suspension period.
- “Previously we waived student loan payments for six months…we’ll discuss it after that, may go further,” Trump said.
- The repayment policy freeze runs until September 30 and includes zero interest on the suspended payments, though it only extends to people that owe money to the Department of Education, meaning people on a government-backed Federal Family Education Loan from a private entity or a Perkins Loan from their college or university aren’t included.
- Trump also shared that $6 billion in emergency grant funding from the CARES Act would start being distributed to colleges and universities to help students impacted by cancellation of classes and suspension of housing.
- Earlier in the day, former vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, shared a new policy for his platform in an attempt to win over supporters of prior Democratic contender Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont that would wipe out student debt entirely.
- Biden’s proposal would forgive student loan debt for “low-income and middle-class people for undergraduate public colleges and universities, as well as private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and private, underfunded Minority-Serving Institution (MSIs).” This includes people making up to $125,000 a year.
Key Background: Student loan debt stands at $1.6 trillion in the U.S., according to a report from credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service. The pandemic has disrupted education from grade-school to college, with teachers and professors conducting lessons through conferencing services like Zoom. There are currently 456,828 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., the most of any country in the world. The pandemic has led to 16 million job losses across the country.