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Student Loan Repayment Pause Extended Through January 2022

August 6, 2021 by TWN Staff
(Cambridge, MA - October 16, 2009) - Fall views of Harvard Yard and foliage at Harvard University. Staff Photo Kris Snibbe/Harvard News Office

WASHINGTON – The Department of Education has extended the pandemic-related pause on student loan repayment, interest and collections until Jan. 31, 2022.

Officials said they believe the additional time and the definitive end date will allow borrowers to plan for the resumption of payments and reduce the risk of delinquency and defaults after restart. 

The department also said it will continue its work to transition borrowers smoothly back into repayment, including by improving student loan servicing.   

“The payment pause has been a lifeline that allowed millions of Americans to focus on their families, health, and finances instead of student loans during the national emergency,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a written statement. 

“As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for restart and ensure a smooth pathway back to repayment,” Cardona said. “It is the department’s priority to support students and borrowers during this transition and ensure they have the resources they need to access affordable, high quality higher education.”

The department will release resources and information about how to plan for payment restart as the end of the pause approaches. 

Since the onset of the pandemic in February 2020, the Department of Education has taken several steps to cushion the blow of the pandemic on student borrowers. These include approving $1.5 billion in borrower defense claims, including extending full relief to approved claims and approving new types of claims; reinstating $1.3 billion in loan discharges for 41,000 borrowers who received a total and permanent disability discharge and protecting another 190,000 from potential loan reinstatement; and  helping 30,000 small business owners with student loans seeking help from the Paycheck Protection Program. 

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