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Democrats are pressuring Biden to extend the pay freeze


A coalition of more than 100 Democrats in Congress appealed to President Biden in the letter sent Thursday to extend a pause in student loan payments that ends Aug. 31.

For more than two years, payments have been suspended for 45 million borrowers with outstanding federal student loan debt. During this time more than 60 percent of borrowers did not make a single payment.

“This much-needed pause has helped many borrowers keep a roof over their heads, provide childcare, and purchase food, health care and medicine during a pandemic that has killed more than 1 million people in the U.S.,” the letter said.

The letter notes that the cost of food, housing, health care and child care have increased over the past two years. They wrote that resuming student loan payments would put many borrowers at risk of having to choose between paying their essentials or their debt.

Recent reports indicate that student loan servicers have been ordered by the Department of Education to delay sending statements to borrowers, a sign that the Biden administration plans to extend the pause, based on past actions.

However, many are concerned that the lack of communication with borrowers could make the transition to repayment more difficult.

“Resuming student loan payments at this time will further complicate administrative actions already underway or planned by the department, which may cause unnecessary confusion for borrowers in the coming months,” the letter said.

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