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January 27, 2022
Following the coronavirus pandemic, which forced millions of people into unemployment and financial uncertainty, federal student loan payments were put on hold.
Despite the Biden administration issuing an extension in August, borrowers will have to begin repaying once again in February of next year.
“It’s a major endeavor, and we’re doing everything we can to get the word out to make sure that borrowers are prepared for when loan payments start in February,” Secretary of Education James Kvaal told CBS News.
The Department of Education is already reaching out to 30 million borrowers that their payments are about to restart once again. A “final extension” of the loan payment halt had been announced in August by the Biden administration, but that pause will expire on January 31, 2022.
Over 42 million people had federal student loans of some type as of fall 2021, equaling nearly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.
After the COVID-19 exception formally expires, borrowers will receive a notice or billing statement at least 21 days before their first payment is due, so not all loan payments will be due on the same day. Some may even have until March to make their first payment. While loans were also set at a zero percent interest rate over the coronavirus pandemic, but as of now, that will not continue.
President Joe Biden ran on a platform of canceling student debt, which drove many young people to support him in the 2020 election. A number of Democrats are still pressuring him to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt, but not long after taking office, Biden indicated that Congress would be responsible for canceling any of that debt.
“We’re working very hard with the Justice Department and the White House to look at our potential legal authority, and those conversations are ongoing,” said Kvaal.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BESTCOLLEGES.COM