Decision on student loan moratorium expected this week

WASHINGTON – The student loan moratorium deadline is currently set for January 31, 2022, but that could be extended later this week according to a White House spokesperson.

Until now, borrowers were under the impression that the Biden administration did not intend to extend the moratorium, and they should be prepared to resume payments in Feburary. President Biden has maintained for weeks that the moratorium would cease at the end of January, now his administration is considering an extension amid the latest omicron surge in new Covid cases.

Students, debt relief advocates, and Democratic lawmakers have been putting pressure on the White House for an extension, their demands underscored by the fact that the President’s Build Back Better plan did not pass in the Senate. The White House has said that the Education Department is reviewing Mr. Biden’s legal authority to wipe out student debt through executive action, something Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he supports. The President has said he doesn’t believe he has the power to eradicate student debt on his own, but would be in favor of a bill passed by Congress to cancel $10,000 per borrower.

The student debt moratorium began under President Donald Trump’s administration in March 2020 when he signed the CARES act into law. Payments were initially paused through September 2020, but on his first day in office President Biden signed an executive order extending it through September 30, 2021. In September the moratorium was extended again, this time through January 2022.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that the President hasn’t made a decision yet, but should by the end of this week.