President Joe Biden has announced the extension of the moratorium on student loan repayment moratorium, reports ABC News.
According to the Department of Education, the extension will give the Supreme Court the necessary time to hear arguments from lawsuits brought against Biden's student loan debt relief program. The pause on payments will “lift either 60 days after the Supreme Court issues a decision on the program, or 60 days after June 30, depending on which date comes first.”
"It isn't fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers eligible for relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuits. For that reason, the Secretary of Education is extending the pause on student loan payments while we seek relief from the court," Biden said in a video posted by the White House.
"I'm completely confident my plan is legal," Biden continued. "I'm never going to apologize for helping working-class and middle-class families recover from the economic crisis created by the pandemic. And I'll continue working to make government work to deliver for all Americans."
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that the administration believed that borrowers would have faced "tremendous financial uncertainty" if they ended the freeze on student loans in December.
"Callous efforts to block student debt relief in the courts have caused tremendous financial uncertainty for millions of borrowers who cannot set their family budgets or even plan for the holidays without a clear picture of their student debt obligations, and it's just plain wrong," Cardona said.
"We're extending the payment pause because it would be deeply unfair to ask borrowers to pay a debt that they wouldn't have to pay, were it not for the baseless lawsuits brought by Republican officials and special interests," he added.
Announced back in August, Biden's plan sought to cancel $20,000 of debt for people who received Pell Grants in college and $10,000 for all other borrowers who earned less than $125,000, or $250,000 per couple. Recently, the plan was put in limbo after being blocked by Republican-led lawsuits in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and also the Northern District of Texas.
The freeze on student loan payments was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, with payments resuming on Jan. 1, 2023. The moratorium has been in place since the early days of the pandemic in 2020.
Since taking office, Biden has extended the moratorium six times.