How long has Biden extended the student loan moratorium? how to apply for the debt cancellation
With a surge of new covid-19 cases in the US and businesses closing, the Biden administration extended the freeze on student loans yet again.
The US was already in the grip of a new surge in covid-19 infections when the fast-spreading Omicron variant entered the picture. Citing the pandemic and student borrowers’ need for more time to begin repaying their loans, President Biden extended the student loan moratorium.
Earlier this month prominent Democratic lawmakers had “strongly urged” Biden to extend the loan forbearance which started at the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. The news of the 90-day extension was greeted with enthusiasm as well as calls for debt forgiveness, something Biden had promised to do as a candidate.
Without student loan pause $85 billion would be stripped from American families
Despite the strong economic recovery with almost 6 million new jobs and unemployment down to 4.2 percent many Americans are still struggling as the covid-19 pandemic continues. Senators Charles Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley signed a letter to President Biden warning of the economic impact the resumption of student loans payments in February 2022 would have on the economy as well as “unnecessary pain and stress for American families.”
Citing an analysis by the Roosevelt Institute preformed at their behest, payments restarting in February would “strip more than $85 billion from approximately 18 million American families over the next year.” They also took the opportunity to call on Biden to cancel up to $50,000 student debt as part of a more comprehensive solution.
Student loan repayments will begin again 1 May 2022
On Wednesday they got a partial victory with President Biden announcing a 90-day extension of the student loan forbearance program. The three-month extension will give 41 million borrowers “badly-needed breathing room,” in the administration's knowledge “that millions of student loan borrowers are still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need some more time before resuming payments.” Payments and interest on outstanding student loans will begin again 1 May 2022.
In his statement, Biden advised those with student loans to “take full advantage of the Department of Education’s resources” in order to “transition smoothly back into repayment and advance economic stability for their own households and for our nation.”
A majority of American voters favor some student loan forgiveness
Americans have over $1.7 trillion in outstanding student loan debt according to Federal Reserve estimates. Since taking office Democratic lawmakers have pressured the president to follow through on a pledge to forgive $10,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower through executive action. However, Biden has called on lawmakers in Congress to pass legislation to cancel federal student loan debt.
A recent survey by Morning Consult found that a majority of voters, 62 percent, in the US favor some form a forgiveness for student loan debts. However, the older the respondent, the less likely they were to feel that borrowers should be let off the hook. Likewise, support for any such measure is predominately among Democratic Party voters, with nearly 50 percent of Republicans opposed.