Enrichment Education

Groups urge Biden to extend pause on student loan payments

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Story at a glance

  • Two-hundred and ten advocacy organizations and unions are urging President Biden to pause student loan repayments for a fourth time.
  • They are asking that he deliver on promises he made to borrowers “to fix the broken student loan system and cancel a substantial amount of federal student debt.”
  • President Biden has continually paused student loan payments, first deferred during the Trump administration in March 2020, each time they’ve been set to resume.

More than 200 advocacy organizations and unions are urging President Biden to pause student loan repayments for a fourth time in the first 15 months of his administration.  

The 210 groups, led by the Student Borrower Protection Center, wrote in a letter Monday that payments should not resume until the president delivers on promises he made to borrowers “to fix the broken student loan system and cancel a substantial amount of federal student debt.”  

“In fewer than 60 days, tens of millions of student loan borrowers are slated to be thrown back into repayment on federal student loans they are ill-equipped to pay as the economy experiences the highest level of inflation in nearly four decades,” the letter read.  

“We, the undersigned 210 organizations, write to urge you to put a stop this crisis in the making before it begins and extend the current pause on student loan payments,” it continued.  

President Biden has continually paused student loan payments, first deferred during the Trump administration in March 2020, each time they’ve been set to resume. This has given some 45 million borrowers who collectively owe around $1.6 trillion interest-free relief throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  

White House chief of staff Ron Klain said late last week that the administration may again pause payments, which are scheduled to resume May 1.  

“The president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the pause expires, or he’ll extend the pause,” Klain said on “Pod Save America.”  

Biden has previously signaled he is willing to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower, while prominent democratic lawmakers are calling on him to forgive up to $50,000. 


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The groups acknowledged in their letter that the administration has taken positive steps toward fixing the loan repayment system through Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Total and Permanent Disability Discharge. And Biden’s Education Department has approved around $2 billion in debt relief for more than 107,000 borrowers through the borrower defense claims. Yet they argued the administration now has the chance to enact additional changes.  

“Right now, your administration has the opportunity to continue repairing the damage caused by policy failures at the federal and state level and decades of government mismanagement and industry abuses—an opportunity and an obligation that must be fulfilled before any action is taken to resume monthly student loan payments,” they wrote.  

“Borrowers need immediate relief from the crushing burdens of massive student loan debt as the pandemic exacerbates financial strain for all Americans and throws existing racial disparities in wealth and educational attainment into especially stark relief.”


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