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Two Top Democrats Urge Biden to Extend Student Loan Moratorium Until 2023

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Staff Reporter

A pair of key congressional leaders are once again calling upon the Biden administration to offer another extension of the student loan moratorium, citing the pandemic, inflation, and supply change issues.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), chairs of the Senate and House education committees, in separate remarks called upon the administration to continue with the pause on repayment, collections, and interest accrual until at least 2023.

The relief has now been in effect for two years and an extension of this length, to take Congress through the midterm elections, would effectively keep the benefit in place for nearly three full years.

These remarks also underscore that Democrats are looking to make a number of changes to the student loan repayment program before restarting the repayment period and interest accrual as a means of lowering costs.

“Until we fix our student loan system, the student loan payment pause must continue to provide borrowers much-needed relief,” Murray said.

For Murray, key “fixes” to the repayment system include offering borrowers in default a fresh start by placing them back in good standing, making income-driven repayment (IDR) plans easier to enroll in, building upon the Department of Education’s (ED) Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver, and providing targeted relief to borrowers who struggle most with student debt, such as those who did not earn a credential, borrowers of color, and those who have been working to pay down their loans for an extended period of time.

Earlier this month the White House hinted at another extension being relatively imminent, but did not indicate a time frame.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans, who have long demanded the administration end the pause, have unveiled legislation seeking to prevent another extension from being implemented.

 

Publication Date: 3/17/2022


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