The Biden Administration suggested Tuesday it may extend a pandemic-era pause on federal student loan payments beyond its early February expiration date, amid pressure from progressive lawmakers and advocates to delay the looming deadline.
Since March 2020, the federal government has suspended monthly student loan payments and held interest rates at 0%. DOE says this forbearance program — which the Trump and Biden Administrations have extended repeatedly since the start of the pandemic — has saved billions of dollars for tens of millions of people who took out federally backed loans to pay for their higher education, though it generally doesn’t apply to private lenders. In August, federal education officials extended relief until January 31, 2022, calling it a “final extension” designed to ease borrowers back into monthly payments. Some Democrats have pushed Biden to extend the pause further, arguing the country is still economically fragile and some borrowers aren’t prepared to resume payments, but the administration hasn’t changed course.