(USNewsMag.com) – Statistics gathered by Investopedia suggest student loan debt continues to be one of the most common sources of financial strain for Americans. Up to a full third of students owe an average of $38,792 at any given time. Collectively, it amounts to around $1.57 trillion in unpaid debt. It’s a tough load to shoulder at the best of times, much less in the middle of a pandemic — which is exactly why President Joe Biden’s recent decision to extend the student loan repayment freeze was such welcome news.
BREAKING: The @JoeBiden administration signaled that it might extend the pause on federal #studentloan payments following a week of intense advocacy and growing concerns about the #Omicron variant.https://t.co/RVkVlXnK5A
— Student Debt Crisis Center (SDCC) (@DebtCrisisOrg) December 21, 2021
The Biden administration first signaled its willingness to consider extending the freeze back on December 21, 2021. Just one day later, the president officially announced it would remain in place until May 1, 2022, citing a need for “breathing room” to ensure families and students could cope with the eventuality of repayment.
Interest rates will also remain at 0% for the duration of the student loan freeze. It isn’t yet clear whether that portion of the moratorium will remain in place after payments reinitialize.
The moratorium was originally set to expire on February 1 along with scores of other COVID-19 relief programs. US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona even called it a “final extension” in an August 6 statement, seemingly dismissing rumors of another freeze at the same time. However, rising Omicron variant case numbers and the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic prompted the government to reconsider the deadline once again.
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