The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday it would extend the pause on student loan repayment, interest and collections.
What Happened: The payment hold, which was initially introduced and repeatedly extended during the Trump administration, was set to terminate on Dec. 31.
"It's harmful & wrong to force tens of millions of borrowers to resume payments on their student debt when they would be eligible for relief," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said, adding the department will prolong the payment freeze yet again, Cardona stated.
The department “is permitted to implement the debt relief program or the litigation is resolved, but no later than June 30, 2023. Payments will restart 60 days later,” he said.
Biden tweeted that he is confident that his student debt relief program, which which would offer up to $20,000 of debt relief to millions of qualified borrowers, is legal, and blamed Republicans for blocking it after lower courts delayed the program.
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Why It Matters: Due to court rulings, the Biden administration has been unable to eliminate any debt and had to stop accepting applications.
Prior to the most recent court rulings, 16 million out of 26 million applications for student loan relief were authorized, according to the White House.
“Callous efforts to block student debt relief in the courts have caused tremendous financial uncertainty for millions of borrowers who cannot set their family budgets or even plan for the holidays without a clear picture of their student debt obligations, and it’s just plain wrong,” Cardona said.
“I want borrowers to know that the Biden-Harris Administration has their backs and we’re as committed as ever to fighting to deliver essential student debt relief to tens of millions of Americans.”
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