California; Hayward — As things stand now, the senate has voted to overturn the President’s student relief program. Federal student loan borrowers are expected to resume their repayment obligations, according to Yahoo! News.
The U.S. Department of Education initially set this deadline in November 2022 with specific conditions. Payments were scheduled to resume on June 30 if the Biden administration's federal student loan forgiveness program were to be implemented and any associated legal disputes had been resolved.
The most recent extension of the payment pause, which is the eighth extension thus far, is set to expire 60 days after either June 30 or when the Supreme Court reaches a verdict on the loan forgiveness plan. Based on this timeline, it is likely that payments will resume sometime in late August.
Biden plans to extend the payment pause for a ninth time or even indefinitely postpone payments by vetoing the measure against the administration’s efforts. However, such a decision would likely face significant opposition from lawmakers, primarily Republicans, who object to both the forgiveness plan and any further delay in resuming payments.
Biden's forgiveness plan relies on the authority granted by the Heroes Act of 2003, enacted in response to the September 11 attacks. This act provides certain powers during times of war or national emergency, with the national emergency in this case being the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the COVID emergency ending in May, the authority to cancel student loan debt under the Heroes Act will also cease.
"While the national emergency declaration remains in effect, the authority for a payment pause and interest waiver will continue," explained student loan expert Mark Kantrowitz in a January blog post on The College Investor site. "As soon as the President rescinds the national emergency declaration, the authority for a payment pause and interest waiver will end."
Nevertheless, the Education Department is considering a transition period that would extend the payment pause at least until the fall. Documents obtained by Politico indicate that department officials have instructed loan servicers to prepare for the resumption of interest charges on federal loans in September. The documents also suggest that officials are targeting October as the first month requiring borrowers to make payments.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods