Consumers who are still repaying their college loans received some welcome news on Wednesday. In a press statement, President Biden announced that his administration is extending a pause on student loan repayments until May 1, 2022. The move adds 90 days to the previous deadline of February 1, 2022.
Biden said he is extending the deadline due to the looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has intensified in recent weeks due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
“We know that millions of student loan borrowers are still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need some more time before resuming payments,” he said.
Borrowers urged to plan for repayments to resume
Biden also cited improvements to the economy and jobs market in his announcement, stating that the U.S. has added 6 million jobs this year and recorded the fewest Americans filing for unemployment in over 50 years.
However, a rising number of COVID-19 cases could threaten the economy and cause that progress to reverse. Biden said student loan borrowers who are affected by the extension of the student loan repayment pause should do all they can to prepare for their payments to resume next year.
“As we are taking this action, I’m asking all student loan borrowers to do their part as well: take full advantage of the Department of Education’s resources to help you prepare for payments to resume; look at options to lower your payments through income-based repayment plans; explore public service loan forgiveness; and make sure you are vaccinated and boosted when eligible,” he said.