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Biden Again Pauses Student Loan Repayment, To Some Relief And To Much Frustration

A side view of President Biden with his hands raised in mid-speech. By him is a United States flag and the words "COVID-19 Response" on a blue backdrop.
President Biden speaks about the government's COVID-19 response.
(JIM WATSON
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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President Joe Biden officially extended the pandemic pause on federal student loan repayment on Wednesday. Borrowers won't have to renew their monthly payments until the end of August. Reactions to the announcement have been mixed.

There've been indications for a while now that the administration would extend the student loan pause — for the fifth time. And what a lot of people are saying — whether they support canceling student debt or not — is, just make a decision. Either take some action to permanently cancel student debt or prepare borrowers for the reality that they'll once again need to start payments.

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Biden has said he wants Congress to pass a student debt relief bill. In the meantime, his press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration will continue to assess the impact of the pandemic and inflation on borrowers’ ability to repay student loans.

In a statement released by the White House, Biden hinted that students should prepare as though loan forgiveness isn't on the table.

"I’m asking all student loan borrowers to work with the Department of Education to prepare for a return to repayment, look into Public Service Loan Forgiveness and explore other options to lower their payments," he said. "Vice President [Kamala] Harris and I are focused on supporting borrowers in need, and believe that this pause will provide a continued lifeline as we recover and rebuild from the pandemic."

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