Higher Ed Advocacy Groups Call for Extension of Student Loan Repayment Pause

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Staff Reporter 

A group of 125 higher education advocacy organizations are calling on President Joe Biden to extend the current pause on payments and interest accrual for federally-held student loans until the administration fixes the student loan system and cancels federal student debt.

Unlike the most recent letter from Democratic lawmakers, which calls for an extension of the benefit through March, the higher education groups representing students, student loan borrowers, workers, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, people of faith, and consumers are more explicit in calling for the benefit to be extended until the administration takes broad action on the student loan system.

“You ran for president on the promise that you would reform the student loan system to ensure that student debt would not be a lifelong burden and that student loan payments would be affordable for those in repayment,” the letter reads. “It is critical that your administration deliver on these promises made to student loan borrowers and their families before ending the pause in payments and collections.”

However, the issue of repayment is gradually becoming a flashpoint between lawmakers with Republicans beginning to demand the Department of Education (ED) outline their plans for getting students back into repayment by October 1 and expressing concern over the cost of the benefit to taxpayers.

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.

Stay tuned to Today’s News as we wait for ED to issue a highly anticipated memo concerning what, if any, authority the administration has to administer student loan debt forgiveness.

 

Publication Date: 6/24/2021


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