Tough deadline? Fox and Burr wrote in his letter that Department of Education officials told their staff that “the Department is preparing to return a portfolio of federal student loans in maturity on October 1, 2021.” Legislators, who have previously expressed concern about the cost to taxpayers of continuing student loan benefits, said they were “very happy to hear this news,” but are concerned that borrowers are “receiving mixed messages” on the matter.
“Student loan borrowers deserve clarity,” wrote Fox and Burr Cardone. “Are you going to resume payments on October 1, as your employees have indicated, or are you going to give in to progressive activists and ask the president to support another extension?”
Preparation started: A GOP committee spokesman said the Department of Education’s comments on the October 1 date came during a Congressional briefing earlier this month. “During a telephone conversation with the commissioners and appropriators on July 13, the Department of Education said that they are preparing to begin payments on October 1,” the spokesman said.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Education confirmed that the agency received the letter, but declined to comment on it.
Earlier this month, POLITICO reported that senior Education Department officials had recommended to the White House that the Biden administration postpone monthly student loan payments until the end of January 2022. But the White House has yet to make a final decision on this recommendation.
Key context: According to sources familiar with the discussions, Ministry of Education officials have been discussing the logistics of resuming student loan payments with student loan servants in recent weeks. But officials of the department did not disclose the final decision on the extension of the break in payments.
According to sources, department officials told service companies that they are operating within the existing October 1 deadline. The department has not yet instructed servicers to begin notifying borrowers about the resumption of payments. Service centers usually should start sending out notifications to borrowers about one month before maturity.