Lawmakers, Groups Call on Biden to Extend Pause in Borrower Payments

President Joe Biden faces renewed pressure extend the freeze on student loan repayments.

On Wednesday, the non-profit Student Borrow Protection Center sent a letter to the White House to urge him to extend the postponement of student loan repayments before it expires on January 31, 2022. He was joined by a coalition of 207 organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers and the NAACP .

“We, the undersigned 207 organizations, are writing to urge you to end this brewing crisis before it begins and to extend the current pause on student loan repayments,” the letter reads. “The suspension of student loan payments has been one of the most significant investments the federal government has made in the financial lives of Americans in a generation. “

The letter implored Biden to keep his “promise” to “reform the student loan system to ensure that student loan repayments are affordable for all.” They hailed his decision to twice delay renewing borrower payments, but warned the COVID-19 pandemic was not quite over and the economic recovery was even further from completion.

Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., lobbied the administration to do more to help student borrowers.

Schumer warned that those unable to make payments will be crushed under the weight of compound interest on their loans. The arrival of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been another factor that has fueled uncertainty going forward, according to Schumer.

“If we don’t extend the break on payments then this horrible interest will accumulate at a time when too many people are still not financially ready to shoulder a giant monthly bill. Plus, with the spread of Omicron, the uncertainty as to what will happen next requires at least one more extension of the student loan payment hiatus, ”Schumer said.

Democratic politicians and activists have called on Biden to do more to tackle the student debt crisis, as he promised during his campaign for the presidency. In July, Schumer, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., And Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Called on Biden to do more to ease the $ 1.7 trillion student debt that weighs on millions of Americans by forgiving a borrower’s $ 50,000 debt.

Biden refused to do so.

Instead, the administration canceled the debts of those who were victims of scam private colleges and he would consider debt relief for students at historically black colleges and universities.

The Americans have made it clear that they do not feel ready to resume repaying their loans. A survey of 33,703 student loan borrowers according to the Student Debt Crisis Center, 89% of borrowers with full-time jobs said they were not financially secure enough to start making payments if they renewed in February.

The student loan debt crisis affects more than 43 million Americans, according to figures from the Education Data Initiative in July.

Robert P. Matthews