Worried about paying off the law school student loan? You’re not the only one.

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It has been more than two years since student debtors have had to pay more than a penny to the government. The student loan break is supposed to end in a week and a half, on August 31. Does anyone else care that President Biden hasn’t said a word yet about whether people should actually start paying again in September (much less if some of their student loan debt is cancelled)?

In June, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told lawmakers that student loan borrowers in repayment would be given “sufficient notice” to know whether the pause would be extended again. Last week he said CBS News that borrowers would find out “soon”. Time, of course, is running out quickly, as there are only 10 days left before payments are supposed to resume. This is hardly “sufficient notice”.

On Sunday, during an appearance on Meet the NBC Press, Cardona had a few more words to say on whether loan payments would be expected next month. “We know August 31 is a date that a lot of people are waiting to hear from,” he said. “We talk about it daily and I can tell you that the American people will hear by next week what the Department of Education is doing about it.”

When asked if he could confirm that relief for borrowers would be coming, he said he “[didn’t] have news to report”, but that “Americans will hear directly from us because we recognize that this is a significant problem across the country”.

“When are they going to give us a clear answer on this?” a source asked. “I would really like to know how short I am going to be. They need to pull themselves together. This is so unprofessional,” another said.

Biden is reportedly considering forgiving up to $10,000 in student loans for borrowers earning less than $150,000 (sorry, Biglaw associates). It’s literally a drop in the bucket for law school grads with six-figure debt, but even something so trivial for debtor lawyers is better than nothing.

So here we are, still waiting, still wondering if we’ll go back to endless debt padding at the end of the summer. Hopefully “soon” will actually be soon because lawyers are getting really nervous.


Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is an editor at Above the Law, where she has worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so feel free to email her with tips, questions, comments or criticism. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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