On Wednesday, the White House and the U.S. Department of Education announced a 90-day extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through May 1, 2022.
The extension will allow the Administration to assess the impacts of the Omicron variant on student borrowers and provide additional time for borrowers to plan for the resumption of payments and reduce the risk of delinquency and defaults after restart.
The Department will continue its work to transition borrowers smoothly back into repayment, including by improving student loan servicing.
“[T]oday my Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments for an additional 90 days — through May 1, 2022 — as we manage the ongoing pandemic and further strengthen our economic recovery,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.
“As we are taking this action, I’m asking all student loan borrowers to do their part as well: take full advantage of the Department of Education’s resources to help you prepare for payments to resume; look at options to lower your payments through income-based repayment plans; explore public service loan forgiveness; and make sure you are vaccinated and boosted when eligible,” Biden added.
The current freeze on student loan payments was last extended in August and was set to expire on January 31st.
“Since Day One of this Administration, the Department has focused on supporting students and borrowers throughout the pandemic and ensuring they have the resources they need to return to repayment successfully,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “This additional extension of the repayment pause will provide critical relief to borrowers who continue to face financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, and will allow our Administration to assess the impacts of Omicron on student borrowers. ”
The action is one of a series of steps the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to support students and borrowers, make higher education more affordable, and improve student loan servicing, including providing nearly $13 billion in targeted loan relief to over 640,000 borrowers.
Actions within that include:
- Revamping the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program in October, which has already provided $2.4 billion in loan relief to 38,000 borrowers. As part of that effort, the Department implemented a Limited PSLF Waiver to count all prior payments made by student borrowers toward PSLF, regardless of the loan program. Borrowers who are working in public service but have not yet applied for PSLF should do so before October 31, 2022, and can find out more at StudentAid.gov/PSLF.
- Providing $7.0 billion in relief for 401,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability.
- Approving $1.5 billion in borrower defense claims, including extending full relief to approved claims and approving new types of claims.
- Providing $1.26 billion in closed school discharges to 107,000 borrowers who attended the now-defunct ITT Technical Institute.
- Helping 30,000 small business owners with student loans seeking help from the Paycheck Protection Program.