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Biden extends payment pause for student loan borrowers until October 2021

US President-Elect Joe Biden speaks at Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard /Reserve Center in New Castle Airport on January 19, 2021, in New Castle, Delaware, before departing for Washington, DC.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Wednesday extended the payment pause on federal student loans through at least September 2021.

The executive order is one of Biden's first acts as president.

The U.S. Department of Education announced in March that borrowers wouldn't have to pay their student loan bills or worry about interest accruing for 60 days. That relief has repeatedly been extended but was set to expire at the end of this month.

The continued pause on payments and accruing interest on federal student loan debt gives further relief to 42 million student loan borrowers.

The vast majority — or around 90% — of borrowers have taken advantage of the government's option to pause their payments during the coronavirus pandemicdata shows. In a recent Pew survey, 6 in 10 borrowers said it would be difficult for them to start paying their student loan bills again in the coming month. 

How student loans became a $1.6 trillion problem
How student loans became a $1.6 trillion problem

There are growing calls for Biden to also forgive a portion of the country's $1.7 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, although the president didn't include such a move in his outline for another stimulus package.

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