The Biden administration has extended the pause on student loans to May 1, pushing back the restart of payments for tens of millions of borrowers whose loans have been effectively frozen for nearly two years.
Borrowers’ payments had been set to resume in February.
“We know that millions of student loan borrowers are still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need some more time before resuming payments,” President Biden said in a statement.
About 41 million borrowers have benefited from a freeze on interest accruals and nearly 27 million borrowers haven’t had to pay their monthly bills since the forbearance began. About 7.2 million in default got a reprieve from collections.
The so-called administrative forbearance was initially put in place as part of the CARES Act in March 2020, and was later extended by then-President Donald J. Trump. When Mr. Biden took office in January, he pushed the date back to Sept. 30 and then in August, he pushed it back again to Jan. 31.
“The Biden administration has thrown a lifeline to student loan borrowers in the face of economic and public health reality,” said Mike Pierce, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center. “This was a necessary action for borrowers to be able to stay afloat.”