Most Americans believe President Joe Biden is going to cancel student loans — and a large portion also thinks he's going to do it soon.
In a new poll from Money and decision intelligence firm Morning Consult, 40% of respondents said they thought it was very or somewhat likely that the Biden administration would forgive at least some student debt in the next six months.
Another 39% said they thought it was unlikely to happen that quickly, and 20% said they had no opinion. (The numbers don't add up to 100% exactly due to rounding.)
The Money/Morning Consult survey also asked Americans whether they thought it was likely Biden would forgive student loan debt at all. Some 56% of respondents said they believed he'd wipe out as much as $5,000 per borrower, though 21% said he would not. The rest didn't know or had no opinion.
Timeline for student loan forgiveness
So far, the president has avoided giving definitive answers about what he plans to do to help the nation's 44 million student loan borrowers. Though Biden said while campaigning that he'd wipe out $10,000 per person so young people don't have to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis, he's since expressed hesitation about canceling loans via executive action. In late April, Biden told reporters at a White House event he was "considering dealing with some debt reduction,” though not at the $50,000 level floated by some of his colleagues.
At that same event, he mentioned he'd have answers "in the next couple of weeks." Federal student loan payments are on pause through Aug. 31, and some of Biden's aides have suggested he'll make a decision on forgiveness before then.
The Money/Morning Consult survey, conducted between May 5 and May 9, asked 2,210 U.S. adults their thoughts on the trajectory. In general, the longer the timetable, the more people who felt certain student loan forgiveness was on the horizon.
Half of respondents said it was likely the White House would cancel student loans in the next year. And 54% said they thought it'd happen in the next two years, which is when Biden is set to end his first term in office.
The collection of people who predicted forgiveness within six months was more or less balanced across age groups. Self-identified Democrats (50%) were more optimistic than Republicans (37%) to say Biden will cancel student loans by October.
Also of note: If Biden does wait six months to wipe out student debt, that means the decision could land just before midterms, which experts are already saying could influence turnout. Mark your calendars.