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Education secretary says decision on student loan pause coming soon

Student loan borrowers will know “soon” if the pause in federal loan payments will be extended, according to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

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The current pause in payments, which began during the COVID-19 pandemic, is slated to end on Aug. 31.

Cardona told CBS News on Tuesday that borrowers will know “soon” if they have to restart paying off their debt.

“While I don’t have an announcement here today, I will tell you that we’re having conversations daily with the White House and borrowers will know directly and soon from us when a decision is made,” Cardona said.

President Joe Biden in April extended the student-loan payment pause through Aug. 31. Cardona did not elaborate on the talks about extending the pause, but said the issue is a priority with Biden.

“The president has been very clear about making sure we’re leading with students first, and we’ve been proud of the $28 billion in loan forgiveness up to this point and the policies that we’ve changed to fix a broken system,” Cardona said. “We recognize that Americans are waiting, and we’ll be communicating with them as soon as we can.”

Earlier this month, Republicans in Congress introduced legislation intended to restart the payments. The Responsible Education Assistance Through Loan (REAL) Reforms Act would rescind the student loan pause.

It’s believed that the pause will be extended once again after the Department of Education last month notified loan companies that handled federal student loans to stop contacting borrowers about the resumption of payments.

However, some companies that service the loans say they are not yet sure when payments will resume.

The pause affects those with federal student loans.

President Joe Biden has promised to announce whether he will forgive federal student loans for other borrowers by the end of August.

Biden had been pressed to forgive up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt. He said he would not consider that amount, but has indicated he is considering forgiving up to $10,000 in student loan debt.

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