Another facet of pre-pandemic life is making its long-awaited, and for many, dreaded, comeback: the process for restarting student loan payments will begin by the end of June, a top Biden Administration official said.
The three-year pause on required payments and interest for federally-held loans, which began at the pandemic’s onset, is set to start winding down on June 30, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in testimony Thursday at the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
That would put payments on track to resume no later than September. The Biden administration previously announced the student loan payment pause—which has been extended eight times—would finally end 60 days after the Supreme Court ruled on whether Biden’s broad student loan forgiveness program would be allowed to proceed, or 60 days after June 30, whichever came first.
Whether the court decides to uphold or block the program, the Department of Education is planning on borrowers paying their student loans again.
“We recognize that during the pandemic, it was very difficult for borrowers,” Cardona said. “We are committed to making sure that once a decision is made, that we're going to resume payments 60 days after, but no later than June 30. We're going to begin that process.”
Cardona’s comments came on the same day the pandemic national emergency officially came to an end.
How many people will be obligated to resume their monthly payments, and for how much, will depend on what the Supreme Court decides about Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, which would wipe out up to $20,000 of debt per borrower, completely eliminating debts for an estimated 20 million of the 43 million people with federally-held student loans. Legal experts say the high court will likely issue a ruling at the end of June.