Biden Administration Extends Pause on Student Loan Payments Until January 31, 2022

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Aug 07, 2021

Biden

The pause on federal student loan payments has been extended until January 31, 2022, the US President Joe Biden’s administration has announced.

“The Department believes this additional time and a definitive end date will allow borrowers to plan for the resumption of payments and reduce the risk of delinquency and defaults after restart,” a US Department of Education press release states.

The COVID-19 pandemic relief pause on student loan payments was expected to expire on September 30 this year after more than one year of suspension. The extension follows the increase in the number of COVID cases caused by the Delta variant across the United States.

“As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for restart and ensure a smooth pathway back to repayment,” US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said.

Cardona added that the Department will support students and borrowers during this transition so they can have all the necessary recourses to access high-quality and affordable higher education in the United States.

The Education Department also pointed out that it will start notifying borrowers about the final extension of student loan payment pause in the upcoming days as well as “release resources and information about how to plan for payment restart” as the end of payments pause is approaching.

According to the statement, the final extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections is just one of the Department’s steps to support students and borrowers, make a more affordable higher education as well as improve student loan servicing.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with two Democratic lawmakers, greeted the final extension but said that the US student loan system continues to aggravate the racial wealth gaps as well as to hinder the country’s economy.  

“We continue to call on the administration to use its existing executive authority to cancel $50,000 of student debt (per borrower),” Schumer, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Representative Ayanna Pressley said in a statement.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have both advocated extending student loan payment pause until at least March 2022.

This is the second time that Biden extends student loan repayments. In January 2021, he extended the student loan payment pause for eight months until September 30, 2021. Differently, in early July, under Biden’s administration, the US Education Department canceled some $56 million student loan debt for 1,800 borrowers.

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