Student loan debt relief: Biden tells the Department of Education to suspend payments until October

President Joe Biden departs after attending a virtual swearing-in ceremony for political appointees at the White House State Dining Room on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

(NEXSTAR) – Federal student loan holders won’t immediately see the type of massive debt forgiveness Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have called for part of the Biden administration, but they will put him on a break from loan repayments as the country tries to recover from the pandemic.

Biden is asking the Education Department to extend a hiatus on federal student loan payments until at least September 30, continuing a moratorium that began at the start of the pandemic but was scheduled to expire in late January.

Borrowers, who collectively owe $ 1.5 trillion, would not be required to repay their federal student loans, their loans would earn no interest, and all debt collection activity would cease until September.

Congress suspended student debt payments last March as part of a virus-fighting program, and the Trump administration twice extended it.

In September, Schumer and Warren presented a resolution who called on the president to write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt in an effort to heal the pandemic economy.

Progressive lawmakers argue that previous legislation grants the president the power to unilaterally cancel debt. It was thought that Biden might be more open to the idea than President Trump had been.

In their statement on the resolution, Schumer and Warren said: “Amid an economy hit hard by the pandemic, the student debt crisis is acting as an anchor, preventing a rapid recovery and restricting opportunities and prosperity for millions of American families. . “

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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