The student loan moratorium has been extended until May
The moratorium, which was scheduled to end in January, originally went into effect in March 2020 and has been extended three times.
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The Biden administration has decided to once again extend the moratorium on student loans, this time through May 1, 2022, citing the lingering effects of the pandemic on borrowers. It was set to expire on January 31.
This extension comes as the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly throughout the U.S.
In his statement, Biden calls on borrowers to work with the Department of Education to get ready for payments to start up again. This suggests that this may be the last extension.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the paused payments are saving 41 million borrowers an estimated $5 billion a month.
Opinions on what to do about student loans vary. Lawmakers like Senators Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, and Ayanna Pressley have called on the President to cancel $50,000 in loans per person. Biden has said that he supports canceling $10,000 per person, but wants Congress to pass a bill on the matter since it is unclear if he has the authority to do it himself.
CNBC Make It contacted 500 lawmakers for their opinions on student loan forgiveness in April. Of the 66 who responded, 37 Democrats supported the $50,000 cancellation, and an additional 6 supported $10,000. Ten of the Republicans who responded don’t support a fixed rate for forgiveness.
Other lawmakers have different plans. California Congressman Eric Swalwell introduced the No Student Loan Interest Act in July 2021. This bill would eliminate interest on new and existing loans, as well as lower the interest rate to zero. Meanwhile, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pushing for cancellation.
On social media, opinions are also mixed. There are those who have paid off their debt and think everyone else should do the same. There are also those who are calling for student loans to be forgiven entirely.
If you can afford to pause student loan payments over and over again, you can afford to cancel it.— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) December 22, 2021
This is complete BS. I took out student loans and I repaid them. You are not entitled to anything because you owe it. Have some responsibility for your actions— Melanie Lowe (@Takeinasiesta71) December 22, 2021