The Biden administration again extended the suspension of federal student loan payments on Tuesday, a benefit that began in March 2020 to help those suffering financial difficulties due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The extension comes just as Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is stalled in court. Administration officials previously told borrowers that the forgiveness — amounting to up to $20,000 in debt relief per beneficiary — would kick in before loan payments resumed in January.
The extension in payments will last up to 60 days after the dispute is resolved. If the program has not been implemented and the dispute has not been resolved by June 30, payments will resume 60 days later, according to the Department of Education.
“I am completely confident that my plan is legal,” President Joe Biden said in a video posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday, referring to his student loan forgiveness program.
“But it’s not fair to ask tens of millions of eligible borrowers to resume payments on their student debt while the courts weigh the lawsuit,” he added.
Last week, the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the student loan forgiveness program while legal challenges are resolved. A trial judge struck down the program in Texas on November 10.