Will your student loans be paused through September 2021?
Here’s what you need to know.
In a new letter, 77 advocacy groups urge U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to continue to pause federal student loan payments through September 2021. In March, Congress pass the Cares Act, which temporarily suspended payments on federal student loans through September 30, 2020. President Donald Trump extended the moratorium on federal student loan payments through December 31, 2020. Federal student loan payments are scheduled to resume on January 1, 2021.
The advocacy groups, which include the NAACP, American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, want DeVos to support a proposal from House Democrats that would provide nine more months of temporary student loan relief. The Heroes Act—the $3 trillion stimulus package House Democrats passed—included a provision to extend the pause on federal student loan payments through September 30, 2021.
The signatories say that continuing economic stress from the Covid-19 pandemic make it burdensome for borrowers to pay student loans in January. Most federal student loan borrowers with Direct Loans have had their student loan payments paused since March. (FFELP or Perkins Loans did not qualify for the payment pause). The signatories ask DeVos to decide by November 15, 2020 if the payment pause will be extended beyond December 31 so that borrowers can plan for the holidays.
According to the letter: “Current economic projections, coupled with the spike in the average number of new coronavirus cases per day, indicate our nation will remain in a state of emergency for many months ahead…At the very least, by extending the repayment pause, your action can support millions of borrowers—particularly borrowers of color, who are disproportionately impacted by the current crises, and others experiencing significant financial distress—who need the financial support this repayment pause brings to their household budgets.”
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