Schumer, Warren, Pressly urge Biden to extend student loan pause and cancel student debt

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A group of leading Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives are calling on President Joe Biden to extend the pause in student loan payments and to cancel some of the student debt.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and MP Ayanna Pressley, also a Democrat from Massachusetts, said on Tuesday that waiving the extension of the pause in payments and collections of student loans, which expire on September 30, could slow down economic recovery.

“COVID has created serious problems for some and confused many others,” Schumer told reporters during a press conference. “Forcing borrowers to pay off their debts now would be unfair, tough, and in many cases cruel.”

The press conference will take place about a month after the meeting of the deputies. wrote to Biden with a request to extend the pause until at least March 31, 2022.

Warren and Schumer also host press events. at least since last fall calling on the president to cancel student debt of up to $ 50,000 – they repeated the call on Tuesday.

Biden’s skepticism

Despite the pressure and the campaign, the promise cancel up to $ 10,000 student debt as a COVID relief measure, Biden expressed skepticism ideas.

The fast-approaching deadline for renewal of payments has increased the urgency of both of these requests, lawmakers said. The pressure was building from lawyers over the past few months on extending the freeze on payments. They are concerned that the student loan system and student loan services are not prepared to handle the flood of calls from borrowers who may have questions or want to adjust their monthly bills as payments resume.

This can create both administrative and financial problems for borrowers. The pandemic marks the first time that the government has shut down an entire student loan system, but in the past, when borrowers have resumed payments on student loans after a more targeted freeze – for example, due to a natural disaster – new defaults

This is a sign that borrowers did not know that payments had resumed, or were struggling to get into an affordable repayment program on time – supporters of the scenario fear that this could repeat itself on a much larger scale.

Major changes are coming

Fears of defenders are fueling the fire: major changes are being made to the student loan system, not related to the suspension of COVID payments. Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Support Agency, one of three major organizations serving federal student loans, announced that he will not seek a new contract after its current expiration on December 14 of this year.

Another, smaller student loan service center associated with the New Hampshire Higher Education Association Foundation. also announced this month that he will not try to renew his contract, which expires at the end of the year.


“Millions of Americans are now asking you to take a pen and pay off your student loan debt.”


– Senator Elizabeth Warren

Moving the millions of new borrowers working with these service providers to new organizations is an operationally challenging task that the Department of Education and Student Loan Services are planning to tackle around the same time the payments are scheduled to resume.

Officials of the Ministry of Education called on the White House extend the freeze on payments until January 2022, Politico reported earlier this month.

Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Services Alliance, a trading group representing service companies, said the department has begun discussions with service providers about renewal options, although the agency still has decisions to make regarding outreach and other factors. …

“While there is no definitive guide to any mechanics yet, it’s a positive sign, at least to know that many months later, the Department seems to be thinking and discussing existing problems,” Buchanan wrote in an email.

The Department of Education and the White House did not immediately provide comment.

Logistic problems

Human rights activists say that even if the agency can mitigate the logistics problems associated with renewed payments, the government should not ask borrowers to pay student loan bills until the Biden administration addresses some of the problems hampering the student loan system.

The administration has taken steps in this direction. So far, the Department of Education has canceled over $ 1.5 billion in debt to defrauded students. The agency is also in the process getting feedback to update the government service loan forgiveness program.

Civil servants fought Get help through a program that allows those who work for nonprofit or government organizations to cancel federal student loans after 120 months of payments.

Lawyers and legislators have called on the White House to go even further, including writing off some of the student debt.

“We’re here today to say tick-tock, Mr. President,” Warren said. “Millions of Americans are asking you now to grab a pen and pay off your student loan debt, grab a pen and extend your pay break, grab a pen and make your life better.”

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