Biden again extends pause in federal student loan payments

The pause until Aug. 31 is the sixth during the two years of the pandemic.

April 6, 2022, 12:42 PM

President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced another extension in the pause in federal student loan payments -- this time until Aug. 31.

This delay would be the sixth extension to the program in the two years of the pandemic and it comes less than a month before payments were scheduled to restart on May 1, potentially affecting millions of borrowers who have not been making payments.

"As I recognized in recently extending the COVID-19 national emergency, we are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it caused," Biden said in a statement.

"If loan payments were to resume on schedule in May, analysis of recent data from the Federal Reserve suggests that millions of student loan borrowers would face significant economic hardship, and delinquencies and defaults could threaten Americans’ financial stability," he said. 

PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House, April 5, 2022.
President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House, April 5, 2022.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Congressional Democrats have pressured Biden to either extend the pause or cancel student loan debt -- and the new extended freeze until in August will end right before the midterm elections in November, ensuring that student loan debt will be raised in races around the country.

PHOTO: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exits the Capitol, April 1, 2022.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exits the Capitol, April 1, 2022.
CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images, FILE

Biden's latest move on the issue is getting mixed reviews from progressive Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who criticized the administration for the continuing uncertainty borrowers have been experiencing.

Ocasio-Cortez is not the only Democrat who has called on Biden to simply eliminate all student debt.

PHOTO: Sen. Bernie Sanders listens during a committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office building in Washington, Feb. 17, 2022.
Sen. Bernie Sanders listens during a committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office building in Washington, Feb. 17, 2022.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images, FILE

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tweeted on Tuesday that Biden needs to go further.

Biden pledged to approve $10,000 in student loan forgiveness for every federal borrower during his campaign, but he has yet to do so.

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