Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) led a group of more than 60 Democratic lawmakers calling on President Joe Biden and the Department of Education (ED) to extend the current pause on payments and interest accrual for federally-held student loans. The pause, which has been in place since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, is currently set to expire at the end of September.
The letter from lawmakers argues resuming the payments could “drag down the pace” of the economic recovery, calling on Biden to extend the pause by at least six months through March 31, or “until the economy reaches pre-pandemic employment levels, whichever is longer.”
“While the economic recovery is in progress, additional financial support is needed by students and families throughout the summer, when eviction and foreclosure moratoriums may lapse, and beyond September, when the extended unemployment benefits from the American Rescue Plan are set to expire,” the letter states.
The lawmakers also noted the struggle that loan servicers, borrowers, and the entire student loan apparatus will face in attempting to resume payments in September considering the significant lift it will require in the coming months as borrowers are still recovering.
"Restarting payments, however, will present a significant challenge for borrowers, loan servicers, and the Department of Education (ED), and we urge you not to let the payment pause lapse when borrowers are still depending on this financial relief," the letter states.
Neither ED nor the White House have said definitively whether the administration is seriously considering extending the forbearance, but with a few months until the forbearance period is set to end, Democratic lawmakers are increasingly pushing for an extension.
Publication Date: 6/24/2021