Education Secretary Miguel Cardona hinted on Monday that there could possibly be an additional extension on the present pause on federal student loan funds past September 30.
But Cardona additionally indicated, nevertheless, that student loan debtors might additionally see funds resume in October.
When requested in regards to the timeline of resuming federal student loan funds and curiosity accrual at an Education Writers Association occasion, Cardona mentioned, “We’re looking at it. Obviously, we’re going to always take the lead from what the data is telling us and where we are as a country with regards to the recovery of the pandemic. It’s not out of the question, but at this point, it’s September 30.”
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Congress swiftly handed the Cares Act, the $2.2 trillion aid bundle, that offered a brief pause for all government-held federal student loans, in addition to any curiosity accrual. The pause was prolonged by former President Donald Trump, as he pushed the date again twice till the top of January 2021, and as soon as President Joe Biden took the White House, he shortly prolonged the pause to Sept. 30, 2021.
These actions on suspending curiosity and federal student funds have saved debtors $5 billion per 30 days, based on the Education Department, and can save debtors $25 billion if the extension expires on the finish of September.
Cardona famous that the White House’s choice on extending the pause in funds and curiosity accrual might be largely data-driven, which means that Biden will possible contemplate financial information and restoration information regarding the pandemic.
The secretary’s feedback aren’t clear indicators over whether or not student loan debtors ought to count on an extended pause in fee, however Cardona mentioned the White House will speed up communication efforts with debtors previous to September 30 if the pause isn’t prolonged.
“We’re going to continue to communicate with borrowers if that goes any further. And we’re also going to create a ramp-up because we know that we can’t just turn on the switch and say, ‘okay,’” Cardona mentioned. “We have to work with them to make sure that we ramp up the communication and the clarity so that it’s as smooth as possible. We know that that’s something we’re going to be focusing on as it gets closer.”
But advocacy teams have already sounded the alarm after Cardona’s remarks, arguing that thousands and thousands of student loan debtors will not be financially steady sufficient to renew reimbursement in October as a result of financial impacts of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Biden and the Education Department have been below huge stress to cancel student loan debt from congressional Democrats and advocacy teams, because the president echoed the concept on his presidential marketing campaign path. So far, the White House has not carried out a widespread cancellation measure, although Biden has instructed Cardona to place collectively a memo on the president’s “legal authority” to chop student loan debt. The administration is reportedly nonetheless present process evaluate.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter on the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.