The Biden Administration Needs to Extend the Student Debt Moratorium
By Caitlin Johnson, Communications and Development Specialist
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon
With less than fifty days remaining until the student debt payment pauses resumes, Fck Student debt and other organizations are calling for the Biden administration to extend the pause.
On December 6, U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Schumer, called on the Biden administration to extend the student loan payment pause. Citing data from a recent study by the Student Debt Crisis Center and Savi, Sen. Schumer highlights that 89% of fully-employed respondents noted they do not feel financially secure enough to begin repayments.
“If we don’t extend the pause on payments, then that horrendous interest will pile up at a time when too many are still not financially prepared to shoulder a giant monthly bill. Moreover, with Omicron spreading, the uncertainty with what happens next demands at least one more extension of the student loan payment pause."
The survey also uncovered that 27 percent of respondents will have to use one-third of their income or more toward student loans in February and 10 percent of respondents will have to use half of their income. Of the respondents, 88 percent say that COVID-19 relief for federal student loans has been critical to their financial well-being.
We believe that the resuming payments in February of next year will be disastrous. On December 10, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, noted that the Biden administration is hoping for a “smooth transition back into repayment.” With three student loan companies shutting down this year and 89 percent of fully-employed borrowers anticipating they will not be ready for payments, we do not believe that a “smooth transition” is even remotely possible.
Student debt is an unbearable burden in a country where higher education is almost always a requirement for class mobility. It is immoral to resume payments knowing such a high percentage of borrowers are unable to afford it, sacrificing money that may have been spent towards food, housing, health care, and other bills.
Student debt is a national financial crisis and it has failed to be treated as such by our elected officials. This is not an individual problem, but a failure of our government. Extending the student loan payment pause is the bare minimum the Biden administration can do.