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

Education

President Joe Biden leaves after attending a virtual swearing in ceremony of political appointees from the State Dining Room of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(NEXSTAR) – Federal student loan holders won’t immediately see the kind of massive debt forgiveness that Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have been pushing for from the Biden administration, but they will get a break on paying back loans as the country attempts to rebound from the pandemic.

Biden is asking the Education Department to extend a pause on federal student loan payments through at least Sept. 30, continuing a moratorium that began early in the pandemic but was set to expire at the end of January.

Borrowers, who owe a collective $1.5 trillion, would not be required to make payments on their federal student loans, their loans would not accrue any interest and all debt collection activity would halt through September.

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

In September, Schumer and Warren introduced a resolution that called on the president to cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt in an effort to heal the pandemic economy.

Progressive lawmakers argue that earlier legislation grants the president 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, “In the middle of an economy that’s been badly hit by the pandemic, the student debt crisis acts like an anchor, preventing a swift recovery and restricting opportunity and prosperity for millions of American families.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...