It remains unclear whether the student loan repayment pause will be extended by President Biden. Two primary economic concerns urge the delay of payments past Feb. 1: Rising Omicron cases could jeopardize workers’ return to work, and given the pandemic-exacerbated racial disparities, borrowers of color will face ‘undue hardship’ if payments are restarted too soon.
If that’s the case, the organizations recommend four additional protections for student loan borrowers:
- Continue to waive interest for all borrowers;
- Return all borrowers in default on their debt to good standing to avoid financial penalties;
- Ensure all borrowers are aware of the process to apply for an income-driven repayment plan;
- Announce and implement provisions, like offering a grace period to prevent borrowers from immediately becoming delinquent on their debt.