The Department of Education announced Friday that President Biden has extended the moratorium on student loan repayment, interest and collection until January 2022.
This will be the last extension, confirmed by the White House, since a moratorium has been in place since early last year.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona gave a statement explaining that this “final extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for restart and ensure a smooth pathway back to repayment”. He also mentioned that the pause of payments has allowed Americans to focus on their families and health instead of loans.
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.Miguel Cardona
The Biden Administration has also added an extension to its eviction moratorium after encouragement from Democrats at the Capitol. At first the administration insisted they didn’t have the authority to extend it, but they decided to create a new moratorium targeting areas with heightened COVID-19 transmission.
The moratorium was set to end at the end of September, but is now extended til January 31, 2022.
Some have warned that turning the payments back on will need a lot of outreach from the Biden Administration to make sure borrowers know payments are due again. Proponents of student debt relief are still pushing Biden to take more action.
Others are worried that the moratorium has created a dependency on the government and since people have gone this long without paying their loans, it may be hard for them to get back to paying what they owe.
Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. gave a joint statement saying “We continue to call on the administration to use its existing executive authority to cancel $50,000 of student debt”.
Biden says he doesn’t believe he has the authority to unilaterally cancel student debt, but he supports Congress passing a bill to cancel $10,000 in debt.