The Biden Administration extended relief for federal student loan borrowers whose payments and interest have been paused during the pandemic. The extension is set to last until at least May, 2022 The welcomed news follows months of resistance from the administration which had caused confusion, uncertainty, and fear for millions of Americans facing a financial cliff if payments resumed.
Extending pandemic relief for student loan borrowers avoids certain disaster for many families. A recent Student Debt Crisis Center survey of 33,000 people found that 9 in 10 are not financially secure enough to resume payments. Further, one in four borrowers says that a third of their income will go towards student loans if payments resume. Extending the pause gives families support they depend on as the Omicron variant sweeps across the country and record-breaking inflation makes basic needs, like food and shelter, unaffordable.
“The Omicron variant is a scary reminder that the pandemic is still a serious concern and Americans cannot be crushed by student debt as they shoulder this health and economic crisis. The Biden Administration must recognize the urgency of the situation and is use the tools available to the President to offer relief,” said Natalia Abrams, President of the Student Debt Crisis Center. “We applaud President Biden for extending the pause and ask him to also deliver on the promise to cancel student debt for everyone as part of his COVID-19 emergency response.
"Last week, 39,000 SDCC supporters sent letters to the White House calling for the Biden Administration to extend pandemic relief. We full-heartedly believe that today’s news is a direct result of these actions and we will continue to amplify the voices of everyday Americans impacted by student debt to create real change,” said Cody Hounanian, Executive Director of the Student Debt Crisis Center.