It’s time to fucking celebrate: Student loan debt repayments will be paused through at least Aug. 31! The student loan debt moratorium, which has been in effect since March 2020, has let millions of people a chance to breathe as the coronavirus pandemic wrought havoc (and continues to) on our wallets, budgets, and sanity.
The White House is slated to announce this latest pause on Wednesday, reports Bloomberg. This extension will impact more than 43 million borrowers who collectively owe the feds a whopping $1.6 trillion. During this extension, interest rates are expected to hold steady at zero percent which means borrowers won’t be adding to their principal.
Payments had been expected to resume in less than a month, on May 1. Previously, loan repayment was set to resume in January, but President Joe Biden announced a the May 1 extension in December.
Extending the student loan repayment pause is the smallest action the current administration can take in this arena. Biden made a campaign promise to cancel student loan debt, and he should fucking follow through with it. To recall a Medium post written by Biden in April 2020, he penned a number of proposals to lift the burden that student debt places on American workers. The most immediate proposal? “Immediately cancel a minimum of $10,000 of student debt per person, as proposed by Senator Warren in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.” Has this happened yet? Nope! Seems like it would be good to do that now, Joe!
Cancelling loans is the easiest way to engender goodwill ahead of a historically difficult midterm election for the party in power. And we know he has the data to back putting this proposal into action: A year ago this week, Biden requested a report from the Education Department to determine if he could legally forgive up to $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower. That memo has yet to be made public.
On Monday, borrowers rallied in Washington, D.C. to urge Biden to finally, for the love of god, cancel student loan debt. While this news is definitely a good sign, people can only be sated with pauses for so long. Enough pausing. Cancel that shit.