Biden extends student loan payment pause to January 31

Biden administration extends pandemic relief for student loan debt through Jan. 31, 2022.

The Biden administration has announced it is extending pandemic relief for student loan repayments, interest and collections through January 31, 2022, referring to it as the “final” extension.

Under the action, payments on federal student loans will remain paused through Jan. 31, 2022. Interest rates will remain at 0% during that period, and debt collection efforts will be suspended. Those measures have been in place since early in the pandemic but were set to expire Sept. 30.

“The payment pause has been a lifeline that allowed millions of Americans to focus on their families, health, and finances instead of student loans during the national emergency,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for restart and ensure a smooth pathway back to repayment.”

As of now, he has directed Cardona, his education secretary, to write a memo on the executive branch’s legal authorities to cancel debt. It would be an unprecedented move, but a memo from lawyers at Harvard’s Legal Services Center and its Project on Predatory Student Lending says the Department of Education has the power to do so.

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