Student loan debt relief: Biden tells Education Department to pause payments until October

Politics

President Joe Biden leaves after attending a virtual swearing in ceremony of political appointees from the State Dining Room of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(NEXSTAR) – Federal student loan holders won’t immediately see the kind of massive debt forgiveness that Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have been pushing for from the Biden administration, but they will get a break on paying back loans as the country attempts to rebound from the pandemic.

Biden is asking the Education Department to extend a pause on federal student loan payments through at least Sept. 30, continuing a moratorium that began early in the pandemic but was set to expire at the end of January.

Borrowers, who owe a collective $1.5 trillion, would not be required to make payments on their federal student loans, their loans would not accrue any interest and all debt collection activity would halt through September.

Congress paused student debt payments last March as part of a virus relief package, and the Trump administration extended it twice.

In September, Schumer and Warren introduced a resolution that called on the president to cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt in an effort to heal the pandemic economy.

Progressive lawmakers argue that earlier legislation grants the president power to unilaterally cancel debt. It was thought that Biden might be more open to the idea than President Trump had been.

In their statement on the resolution, Schumer and Warren said, “In the middle of an economy that’s been badly hit by the pandemic, the student debt crisis acts like an anchor, preventing a swift recovery and restricting opportunity and prosperity for millions of American families.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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