The Biden administration announced Friday that it will be extending the pause on student loan payments until January 31, 2022, with the Department of Education implying that this will be the final extension. The freeze on federal loan repayment, collection, and interest accrual was set to expire at the end of September, after first beginning in March 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
“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,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a statement. “It is the Department’s priority to support students and borrowers during this transition and ensure they have the resources they need to access affordable, high quality higher education.”
This news comes as many in President Biden’s party have been pushing him to go further and cancel tens of thousands of dollars of student debt for every borrower.
Senators Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, and Representative Ayanna Pressley issued a joint statement praising the administration’s action, but adding that it “doesn’t go far enough.”
“Our broken student loan system continues to exacerbate racial wealth gaps and hold back our entire economy. We continue to call on the administration to use its existing executive authority to cancel $50,000 of student debt. Student debt cancellation is one of the most significant actions that President Biden can take right now to build a more just economy and address racial inequity,” the statement read.