Student loan payment freeze extended to January 31 by US Department of Education and Joe Biden White House 2021

People in Ohio and across the country just got a stay on their student loans.Photo: MD Duran, Unsplash

The Biden administration announced on Friday afternoon that it was extending the break on federal student loan repayments until January of next year, as the delta variant of the coronavirus increases across the country.

“As our country’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this latest extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for the restart and ensure a smooth return to repayment,” said US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement.

The administration previously froze student loan repayments until September 30, but announced it would grant a final extension until January 31, 2022.

Democrats welcomed the break, but criticized the administration for failing to give more relief to student loan borrowers by forgiving student debt.

“While this temporary relief is welcome, it does not go far enough,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.); Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D-Mass.); and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), said in a statement.

They renewed their calls for President Joe Biden to write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt.

“Canceling student debt is one of the most important actions President Biden can take right now to build a fairer economy and fight racial inequality,” they said. “We look forward to hearing the administration’s next steps in dealing with the student debt crisis.

However, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Praised the administration in a statement on its extension.

“Putting federal student loan borrowers back on loan repayments this fall would affect millions of workers and families who are just starting to get back on their feet,” he said.

“By extending this break, the Biden-Harris administration will help build momentum in our economic recovery and give student loan borrowers the time they need to build their financial security before restarting their loan repayments.”

The Federal Reserve estimates that the total student loan debt in the United States stands at over $ 1.7 trillion. In a February town hall in Wisconsin, a participant asked Biden what he would do to write off up to $ 50,000 in student debt. He said he “wouldn’t make it,” and instead offered free forgiveness programs for community colleges and the government.

This story was originally published by the Ohio Capital Newspaper and republished here with permission.

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