Biden to extend student loan payment break on day one

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President-elect Joe Biden will be busy from his first day, signing nearly a dozen executive actions right after his inauguration.

According to a note obtained by Forbes from the new White House chief of staff Ron Klain, Biden will initiate these actions to tackle four crises: the pandemic, the economic crisis, the climate crisis and the racial equity crisis. Actions include re-adhering to the Paris Agreement, rescinding the ban on Muslims, and more.

Student loan borrowers will also be happy to see that Biden “will ask the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for millions of Americans on federal student loans.”

Payments and interest on student loans held by the federal government are currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Congress passed the CARES Act and suspended payments and interest until September 30, 2020. While House Democrats passed a bill in May that would have extended the suspension for one year, the Senate Republicans have never considered the legislation.

However, President Trump has used executive power to twice extend the payment break. The latest extended the suspension until January 31, 2021.

That date is fast approaching, so many borrowers have questioned whether Biden will provide further relief. Transition previously said the president-elect will extend the break, but this appears to be the first time he’s been officially included in a proposal.

Still, many were upset that an extension was not listed in Biden’s proposal for coronavirus relief he announced earlier this week. And a number of lawyers and borrowers have been dismayed that the president-elect did not include any student debt relief in his proposal, despite saying he would ask Congress to grant 10 $ 000 in student loan forgiveness to relieve borrowers.

But many are pushing Biden to use executive power and provide up to $ 50,000 in student debt relief, a plan originally proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren. But Biden, who has spent most of his career in the Senate, appeared to be wary of that authority and appeared to defer to Congress for this action.

The memo does not say how long the president-elect will prolong the relief, however. It may do so indefinitely until the pandemic emergency is over, but student loan borrowers are expected to stay tuned on January 20.e to see what then President Biden will do. Either way, borrowers will feel a breath of relief knowing that payments will not be due next month.


Related readings:

Joe Biden’s plan for student debt cancellation

Stimulus deal: stimulus checks, unemployment and money for education


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