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Stimulus Bill Does *NOT* Include Payment Pause Extension for Student Loans

Congress approved $900 billion of relief for households and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The bill now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it into law. Read the text of the bill here.

One thing that surprised us –– the stimulus bill won’t extend the payment pause and 0% interest for federal student loan borrowers.

In a recent Pew survey, Almost 6 in 10 borrowers (58%) who were aware of and reported paused payments said it would be somewhat or very difficult to afford their payments if they had to begin making them in the next month.

“The previous proposal to extend the payment pause and interest waiver through April 2021 was apparently dropped from the legislation. So Joe Biden may have to use executive action to extend the payment pause and interest waiver soon after he takes office.” said student loan expert Mark Kantrowitz.

The $900 billion pandemic aid package will send $600 direct payments to Americans earning up to $75,000. The bill will include $300 enhanced weekly unemployment benefits, through March 14, 2021, including self-employed and gig workers.

What you need to know:

  • The COVID stimulus package did not extend the payment pause and 0% interest for student loan borrowers
  • If no other action is taken, all 42 million federal loan borrowers will have to resume their payments February 1, 2021
  • The $900 billion pandemic aid package will send $600 direct payments to Americans earning up to $75,000
  • The bill will include $300 enhanced weekly unemployment benefits, through March 14, 2021, including self-employed and gig workers
    - This is all pending President Trump’s approval and signature

It is still possible that President-Elect Biden could pass additional student loan relief through executive action. However, to date, Biden has not supported canceling student loans through an executive order. So, if Congress doesn’t pass additional legislation to extend student loan relief, there’s no guarantee that Biden would issue an executive order.

Sources

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