Biden will ask the Dept. of Education on his first day to extend the pause on federal student loan payments through the end of September

  • President-elect Joe Biden will ask the Department of Education on Wednesday to extend the pause on federal student loan payments through September 30.
  • The pause was originally set to expire at the end of January.
  • Some Democratic lawmakers argue that simply extending payments is not enough, and have urged cancelation of at least some student debt.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to ask the Department of Education on Wednesday to extend the pause on federal student loan payments through September 30, marking his first move to act on student debt in America.

The extension applies to the 42 million federal student loan borrowers in the country.

In a call with reporters on Tuesday, incoming Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese said that the extention on loans is requested to alleviate some of the burdens many households are facing to pay basic expenses, and student debt is often a barrier to putting food on the table.

“In this moment of economic hardship, we want to reduce the burden of these financial trade-offs,” Deese said.

Former Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos extended the pause on loan payments through the end of January. Biden’s request will add months to the initial deadline and offer Americans with student debt additional leeway as the economy continues to struggle with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

While extending the pause on student loan payments may help alleviate the the $1.6 trillion student debt burden, many democrats argue that it is not enough and that the president-elect should cancel at least some debt altogether.

Biden has already pledged support for Congress canceling $10,000 in student debt per person, but Democratic lawmakers like Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are pushing for $50,000, Insider previously reported. Biden has said that an executive order on the issue was unlikely, punting the issue to Congress.

If Biden’s request to extend the pause on student loan payments is approved, each federal loan borrower will see their payments suspended without accrual of interest. This pause, however, excludes the more than seven million borrowers whose federal loans are held by private companies.

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