Biden Administration Extends Pause of Student Loan Repayments Until End of August (UPDATE)
The Biden Administration announced the student loan repayment pause has been extended until Aug. 31, enabling 'Americans to continue to get back on their feet."
Image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla
UPDATED 4/6, 10:30 a.m. ET: Joe Biden has officially announced the student loan repayment pause has been extended until Aug. 31.
“We are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it caused,” President Biden said. “If loan payments were to resume on schedule in May, analysis of recent data from the Federal Reserve suggests that millions of student loan borrowers would face significant economic hardship, and delinquencies and defaults could threaten Americans’ financial stability.”
He added it will “enable Americans to continue to get back on their feet after two of the hardest years this nation has ever face.”
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education released a statement on a “fresh start” for student loan borrowers as it pertains to “eliminating the impact of delinquency and default and allowing them to reenter repayment in good standing,” which affects about 7 million borrowers, per NPR.
“The Department will continue to assess the financial impacts of the pandemic on student loan borrowers and to prepare to transition borrowers smoothly back into repayment. This includes allowing all borrowers with paused loans to receive a ‘fresh start’ on repayment by eliminating the impact of delinquency and default and allowing them to reenter repayment in good standing.”
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College graduates, it’s looking like you can put your wallet back in your pocket. At least for now.
The White House is expected to keep federal student loan payments paused through Aug. 31, an administration official told the Associated Press.
The decision impacts 43 million Americans who owe a projected $1.6 trillion in federal student debt, per data from the Education Department. It comes as repayments were expected to resume on May 1, and as Democrats in Congress are requesting that the Biden administration gives Americans more time to prepare for the payments resuming. Interest rates are expected to remain at 0% until Aug. 31, as well.
Some politicians, like Sen. Patty Murray, argue that the government’s current repayment process is “ruining lives and holding people back,” and that Americans need some extra time.
“Borrowers are struggling with rising costs, struggling to get their feet back under them after public health and economic crises, and struggling with a broken student loan system — and all this is felt especially hard by borrowers of color,” Murray said.
As for if debt forgiveness is on the horizon from the Biden White House, lawmakers like Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren have pushed the president to cancel $50,000 per student loan recipient. Biden asked the Education and Justice departments last year to review the legalities of widespread forgiveness, and previously explained that he supports $10,000 of forgiveness but put the responsibility on congress to do so.
“My point is: I understand the impact of debt, and it can be debilitating,” Biden previously said. “I am prepared to write off the $10,000 debt but not 50 [thousand], because I don’t think I have the authority to do it.”