At the start of the pandemic, many Americans found financial relief in the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. One component of this stimulus bill specifically impacted former college-goers and one all-too-common burden: student loan debt.
Under the CARES Act, former President Donald Trump initially paused all student loan payments and interest accumulation from March to September 2020. Trump extended this freeze twice throughout his term, effectively passing the ball to President Joe Biden.
When Biden assumed office in early 2021, he signed an eight-month extension on this student debt relief. He later extended the pause during the summer, citing Jan. 31, 2022, as the last day of this coverage.
As this date drew nearer, many Millennials and Gen Z-ers were buzzing about whether or not Biden would extend this relief or even cancel some student loan debt, particularly considering some of his former tweets on the subject ahead of his presidency.
Paying off your kids’ student loan debt can feel overwhelming. We need a president who understands that. pic.twitter.com/VnCrEGh5mx
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 29, 2019
During a recent press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was questioned about the subject, and she confirmed that payments would resume immediately after Jan. 31, 2022.
“In the coming weeks, we will release more details about our plans, and we’ll engage directly with federal student loan borrowers to ensure they have the resources they need and are in the appropriate repayment plan,” Psaki revealed.
While the impacts stemming from the recent Omicron variant are still being explored, She then acknowledged that a “smooth transition back into repayment” is on the Biden Administration’s to-do list–even calling the matter a “high priority.”
“The Department of Education is already communicating with borrowers to help them to help for return to repayment on Feb. 1 and has secured contract extensions with loan servicers,” she stated. “So we are preparing for a range of steps here.”
“41 million borrowers have benefitted from the extended student loan payment pause, but it expires Feb. 1, so right now, we’re just making a range of preparations,” Psaki admitted.
STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS: Jen Psaki was asked if President Biden will extend the student loan payment pause. pic.twitter.com/F86ZSGtjiK
— Forbes (@Forbes) December 11, 2021
As Feb. 1 draws nearer, people with student debt should look into their plans and prepare for this “smooth transition back into repayment.”