The NAACP continues to push for at least $50,000 in student-loan forgiveness, telling Biden that extending the debt payment pause will 'only extend the anxiety millions of Americans feel'

The NAACP continues to push for at least $50,000 in student-loan forgiveness, telling Biden that extending the debt payment pause will 'only extend the anxiety millions of Americans feel'
·3 min read
NAACP president derrick Johnson
NAACP President Derrick Johnson.Lisa Lake/Stringer
  • NAACP President Derrick Johnson urged Biden to cancel at least $50,000 in student debt.

  • He also said any relief should not be targeted based on income to ensure people are not left out.

  • A recent Politico memo found the Education Dept. is prepared to carry out income-capped relief.

The NAACP isn't giving up fighting for President Joe Biden to go as big as possible on student-loan forgiveness.

On Thursday, NAACP President Derrick Johnson wrote a letter to Biden, urging the president to cancel at least $50,000 in student debt for federal borrowers without an income cap. This comes even after Biden rejected the $50,000 amount. He's now reportedly considering $10,000 in student-loan forgiveness for borrowers making under $150,000 a year.

While Biden has extended the pause on student-loan payments four times, with the possibility he'll do so again, Johnson said those actions are just not enough.

"The American people are anxious. Voters are anxious. Your base is anxious. Extending the freeze will only extend the anxiety that millions of Americans feel," Johnson wrote.

"Thus, any extension must be accompanied by meaningful cancellation," he added. "We urge you to cancel a minimum of $50,000 as Black borrowers – drowning in an average of $53,000 in student debt – have virtually no realistic way to pay it back in today's unjust economy. Capping cancellation to a certain income bracket will not only miss huge numbers of borrowers in dire need, but it will also leave millions of borrowers with the same monthly payment they had before, thus negating the purpose of cancellation."

As Insider previously reported, subjecting any relief to an income cap will be administratively difficult to implement, with the potential of leaving many low-income borrowers out of the relief. But a report from Politico on Thursday found that, based on internal memos it obtained, the Education Department prepared detailed plans to carry out loan forgiveness once Biden makes his final decision.

Specifically, as the report outlined, the department is prepared to automatically cancel student debt for millions of borrowers within months of Biden's announcement if their incomes are readily available, and if not, the other borrowers will be able to apply through an online form to self-certify their income. Still, those details remain in flux and the White House has not yet confirmed what the relief will be, and how it will look.

While Democratic lawmakers and advocates have joined the NAACP in pushing Biden to go big on relief, Republicans have slammed both the potential relief and another payment pause extension. They have cited the cost already implemented relief has had on taxpayers and said that canceling student debt would go beyond the authority Biden has.

Still, Biden has yet to make any announcements. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing this week that Biden is sticking with his timeline to announce any final decisions before August 31 — which is when payments are set to resume — so borrowers can expect an announcement within the next month.

Read the original article on Business Insider