October 2, 2022

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Millions in the dark about whether student loan payments will resume

2 min read

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) joins activists in a demonstration outside an entrance to the White House calling for the cancellation of student debt in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Planning his budget for next month, Scott Heins doesn’t know if he’ll have the usual cash he needs for his health-care expenses and recently, thanks to inflation, his higher grocery bill.

That’s because, like tens of millions of other Americans, he doesn’t know if his student loan bill will be due.

“It’s just been radio silence from the Biden administration,” said Heins, 33, a freelance photographer in Brooklyn, New York, who owes more than $20,000. “It’s frustrating and stressful.”

Most federal student loan payments have been on pause since March of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. and crippled the economy. Former President Donald Trump extended the break several times, as has President Joe Biden.

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‘Another payment freeze is inevitable’

Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden would make a decision on the student loan payment pause by the end of the month. The president has also said he’d announce how he plans to move ahead, if at all, with student loan forgiveness before then. He’s come out in support of canceling $10,000 for all borrowers, but is under intense pressure to deliver greater relief.

It’s now just two weeks before federal student loan bills are set to resume, and although there’s much speculation that another extension is likely with no plan to restart the payments in motion and the November midterms looming, the White House has said nothing else on the matter.

“The fact that they haven’t issued any guidance so close to the theoretical start date pretty much indicates yet another payment freeze is inevitable,”…

2022-08-17 12:20:00

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