Biden Administration Extends Pause on Student Loan Payments Until May 1

Biden Administration Extends Pause on Student Loan Payments Until May 1
Written by Publishing Team

In recent months, pleas for sweeping action on student loans have gone unanswered by Biden, who said he has been reluctant to explore executive actions to waive large amounts of student loan debt, fearing the relief will go to people attending elite colleges. But last week, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke publicly about the need to provide relief to borrowers.

“I’ve taken out student loans,” Ms. Harris said during an interview with radio and television presenter Charlemagne Tha Allah. “I mean, look, right now, we have a lot of people, tens of millions of people in the United States dealing with student loan debt and responsibilities, and it’s standing in the way of them being able to start a family or buy a house. It’s real, and we need to deal with it.”

On Wednesday, the White House sought to give Ms Harris credit for her role in persuading the president to agree to the extension. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said conversations with advisers, including Ms. Harris, led to Mr. Biden’s decision to extend the moratorium. Ms. Psaki said the president’s threatened social spending plan was not the main reason for extending the student loan.

“This is something the President has thought a lot about over the past several days,” Ms Psaki said, adding that conversations with Ms Harris “led to the decision to extend through May.”

The Biden administration has already eliminated some of the debt through more targeted measures — it has eliminated nearly $13 billion in loans to about 640,000 borrowers, according to the Department of Education, including more than $7 billion for people with “complete and permanent” disabilities.

Activists praised the administration’s decision.

“The Biden administration has thrown a lifeline for student borrowers in the face of the realities of the economy and public health,” said Mike Pierce, executive director of the Center for Student Borrower Protection. “This was a necessary measure for borrowers to be able to stay afloat.

People struggling to pay off their student loan debt said the extension was helpful, if only temporary.

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