Student loan borrowers have earned yet another reprieve — President Biden announced yet another extension of the pause on payments, now through May 1, as coronavirus cases surge once again.
“We know that millions of student loan borrowers are still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need some more time before resuming payments. This is an issue Vice President Harris has been closely focused on, and one we both care deeply about,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House. “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.”
Loan payments were set to resume Jan. 31. This is the third time Biden has pushed off the date for student loan payments to resume since taking office. Democrats are pushing for the president to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt, a move Biden has so far resisted.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley were quick to applaud the president’s decision on Wednesday, saying in a joint statement with Senate President Chuck Schumer, D-NY, they are “pleased the Biden administration has heeded our call.”
All three signed onto a bicameral letter earlier this month outlining the economic consequences of resuming student loan payments and urging the president to extend the pause.
The lawmakers’ letter cited data from the Roosevelt Institute, which found that if the payments resumed as scheduled on Feb. 1, approximately $7 billion a month and $85 billion annually will be stripped from over 18 million student loan borrowers’ budgets.
“The pause on federal student loan payments, interest, and collections has improved borrowers’ economic security, allowing them to invest in their families, save for emergencies, and pay down other debt. Extending the pause will help millions of Americans make ends meet, especially as we overcome the Omicron variant,” the Democratic lawmakers’ statement continued.
Lawmakers seized the moment to reiterate calls to cancel debt.
“We continue to call on President Biden to take executive action to cancel $50,000 in student debt, which will help close the racial wealth gap for borrowers and accelerate our economic recovery,” they said.
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