News recently broke that Biden will not extend the student loan freeze despite many people's hopes. During a recent press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was questioned about the subject, and she confirmed that payments would resume immediately after Jan. 31, 2022.
"In the coming weeks, we will release more details about our plans, and we'll engage directly with federal student loan borrowers to ensure they have the resources they need and are in the appropriate repayment plan," Psaki revealed.
While the impacts stemming from the recent Omicron variant are still being explored, she acknowledged that a "smooth transition back into repayment" is on the Biden Administration's to-do list–even calling the matter a "high priority."
Paying off your kids' student loan debt can feel overwhelming. We need a president who understands that. pic.twitter.com/VnCrEGh5mx
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 29, 2019
"The Department of Education is already communicating with borrowers to help them to help for return to repayment on Feb. 1 and has secured contract extensions with loan servicers," she said. "So we are preparing for a range of steps here."
At the start of the pandemic, many Americans found financial relief in the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. One component of the stimulus bill specifically impacted former college-goers and student loan debt.
Under the CARES Act, former President Donald Trump initially paused federal student loan payments and interest accumulation from March to Sept. 2020. Trump extended this freeze twice throughout his term, effectively passing the ball to President Joe Biden.
When Biden assumed office in early 2021, he signed an eight-month extension on the student debt relief. He later extended the pause during the summer, citing Jan. 31, 2022, as the last day of extension.
STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS: Jen Psaki was asked if President Biden will extend the student loan payment pause. pic.twitter.com/F86ZSGtjiK
— Forbes (@Forbes) December 11, 2021
As this date drew nearer, many Millennials and Gen Z-ers were buzzing about whether Biden would extend this relief or even cancel student loan debt, particularly considering some of his former tweets on the subject ahead of his presidency.
"Forty-one million borrowers have benefitted from the extended student loan payment pause, but it expires Feb. 1, so right now, we're just making a range of preparations," Psaki admitted.