/  12.22.2021

President Joe Biden and his administration have extended the student loan payment pause until May as the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to surge throughout the country.

The loan payments were set to resume on Feb. 1, 2022, however, on Wednesday (Dec. 22), the president said he will give borrowers an additional 90 days.

“Given these considerations, today my Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments for an additional 90 days — through May 1, 2022 — as we manage the ongoing pandemic and further strengthen our economic recovery,” Biden said in a statement. “Meanwhile, the Department of Education will continue working with borrowers to ensure they have the support they need to transition smoothly back into repayment and advance economic stability for their own households and for our nation.”

As REVOLT previously reported, since March 2020, borrowers have been able to pause their student loan payments — without interest — due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the Omicron variant causing Coronavirus cases to increase across the country and world, many people called for an extension to the pandemic relief benefits.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced a possible extension during a press conference. “We are still assessing the impact of the Omicron variant,” she said. She also stated that student loan borrowers can expect “more details” about the administration’s plan for restarting payments in the forthcoming weeks.

Over 41 million student loan borrowers have benefited from the payment break. Members of Congress have been pressuring the president to cancel student loan debt altogether — although Biden previously said that he does not believe he has the executive power to do so.

“As we prepare for the return to repayment in May, we will continue to provide tools and supports to borrowers so they can enter into the repayment plan that is responsive to their financial situation, such as an income-driven repayment plan,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a statement on Wednesday.

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