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Biden administration extends student loan payment pause

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The pause on federal student loan payments, collections and interest will continue beyond December 31 of this year and possibly for several more months, President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

The Biden administration is extending pause, which began in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, through no later than 60 days past June 30, 2023. The continuation of the freeze comes as the Biden administration’s debt relief plan remains mired in litigation. In his announcement, Biden said he’s confident that his initiative, which would cancel $10,000 for borrowers earning $125,000 or less and $20,000 for those who meet the income criteria and used a Pell grant in college, is legal.

Still, he said he wanted to extend the pause to give “the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term.” Borrowers will be asked to resume payments 60 days after the Department can implement the forgiveness initiative or 60 days after June 30, 2023, whichever comes first. That means the freeze could extend all the way through the end of August 2023.

Almost immediately after the White House announced the debt relief plan this past August, critics began searching for plaintiffs to challenge it. Earlier this month, a federal judge in north Texas struck down the debt forgiveness initiative, saying it was unconstitutional. A panel of appellate court judges also said they would temporarily stop the plan while they hear a case asking to block it. The Biden administration has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case and restore the debt relief initiative .

“We’re not going to back down on our fight to give families breathing room,” Biden said in announcing the extension of the pause.

Earlier this month, the Biden aministration said it approved 16 million applications for debt relief under the program.

Credit: marketwatch.com

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