Department of Education to end freeze on student loan payments in January: NPR


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US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during a White House press briefing on Thursday.

Win McNamee / Getty Images


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Win McNamee / Getty Images


US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during a White House press briefing on Thursday.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

On Friday, the US Department of Education announced that federal student loan payments would remain on hiatus until the end of January.

Loan payments, accrued interest, and past due federal student loan collections have all been on hold since the start of the pandemic – first thanks to the CARES Act, then due to extensions by former President Donald Trump, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and President Biden.

Before Friday’s announcement of the Jan.31 extension, payments were due to resume in October.

The Department of Education called this latest extension the last.

“The payment hiatus has been a lifeline that has allowed millions of Americans to focus on their families, health and finances rather than student loans during the national emergency,” the US secretary said to Education, Miguel Cardona, in a statement. “As our country’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this latest extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for the restart and ensure a smooth return to repayment.”

In one Pew Charitable Trusts survey conducted this spring, While the moratorium was yet to expire on September 30, two-thirds of respondents said they would struggle to pay the payments once the freeze was lifted.

Democratic lawmakers – including Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Ayanna Pressley and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – had previously urged the Biden administration to extend the moratorium until at least March.

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