President Biden Extends Student Loan Repayment Pause Until May 1, Citing COVID Concerns

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock (12472020d)President Joe Biden delivers remarks on COVID-19 during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, in WashingtonBiden, Washington, United States - 27 Sep 2021.
Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock / Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock

President Biden announced on Dec. 22 that the student loan repayment pause has now been extended until May 1, 2022, citing the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as the reason for the extension. Student loan payments and collections on defaulted student loans have been paused — with interest rates temporarily set to zero — since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Given these considerations, today my Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments for an additional 90 days — through May 1, 2022 — as we manage the ongoing pandemic and further strengthen our economic recovery,” Biden said in a statement, per CNN. “Meanwhile, the Department of Education will continue working with borrowers to ensure they have the support they need to transition smoothly back into repayment and advance economic stability for their own households and for our nation.”

This announcement comes less than two weeks after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, during a press conference, that federal student loan payments were set to resume in February. However, an Education Department spokesperson indicated in a statement to Politico on Dec. 21 that the student loan repayments could again be postponed.

Biden also advised student loan borrowers to prepare for the restart of payments by considering enrolling in income-driven repayment programs.

“As we prepare for the return to repayment in May, we will continue to provide tools and supports to borrowers so they can enter into the repayment plan that is responsive to their financial situation, such as an income-driven repayment plan,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a Dec. 22 statement, CNN reported.

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USA Today added that the announcement was praised by lawmakers and borrower advocacy groups who had been urging Biden to extend the pause, and to cancel student debt through executive action.

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