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

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President Joe Biden departs after attending a virtual swearing-in ceremony for politicians from the White House State Dining Room on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

(NEXSTAR) – Federal student loan holders won’t immediately see the kind of massive debt forgiveness Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have called for administration, but they will. get a break from loan repayments as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Biden is asking the Education Department to extend a hiatus on federal student loan payments until at least September 30, continuing a moratorium that began at the start of the pandemic but was set to expire at the end of January.

Borrowers, who collectively owe $ 1.5 trillion, would not be required to make payments on their federal student loans, their loans would bear no interest, and all debt collection activity would cease until September.

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

In September, Schumer and Warren introduced a resolution who called on the president to write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt in an effort to heal the economy’s pandemic.

Progressive lawmakers argue that previous legislation grants the president the 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: “Amid an economy that has been hit hard by the pandemic, the student debt crisis is acting as an anchor, preventing a rapid recovery and restricting opportunities and prosperity for millions of American families. . “

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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