Biden extends federal student loan freeze: No bills, no interest until 2022

The Trump administration first announced the pause in March 2020 as a temporary, pandemic-related measure.

Top Democrats had pushed Biden to extend the pause even longer.

Federal student loan borrowers will continue to get a break from their monthly bills until February 2022, the Biden administration announced on Friday. 

No interest will accrue on federal student loans until that time, and borrowers with loans in default will not see their wages garnished until the student loan freeze expires. 

The pause on student loans payments, called a forbearance, began under the Trump administration in March 2020. 

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The Trump administration extended the forbearance in December 2020 and the Biden administration further extended the pause soon after taking office. The forbearance period was scheduled to expire on September 31 meaning that borrowers would have been expected to pay their student loan bills come this October.

Top Democrats, including Sen. Schumer, Sen. Warren, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, had pressured Biden to extend the student loan freeze until March 2022 or until the unemployment rate reaches pre-pandemic levels, whichever comes later. 

Those lawmakers are unlikely to see that goal realized. The Department of Education described the most recent action as “a final extension” with “a definitive end date.”

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The student loan forbearance applies to all Federal Student Aid borrowers, regardless of their income. When payments resume in February 2022, borrowers will have experienced 22 months without their loans accruing interest or the need to make regularly scheduled loan payments.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AngelaLMorabito