The Biden administration extended COVID-19 student loan debt relief on Friday to continue through the end of January 2022.
“This will give the Department of Education and borrowers more time and more certainty as they prepare to restart student loan payments,” Biden said in a statement, according to the Washington Examiner.
“It will also ensure a smoother transition that minimizes loan defaults and delinquencies that hurt families and undermine our economic recovery.”
The extension is expected to serve as the final time student loan payments are paused. The program was expected to end earlier, though President Joe Biden used the rise of the delta variant as a reason to continue until next year.
The news was well received by some Democrat lawmakers who have continued to urge the president to cancel student loan debt.
“This is great news for millions,” tweeted Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat who co-chairs the House Progressive Caucus. “Next step: cancel at least $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower.” She added that Biden “can and must” do this.
There’s no question: It’s time to cancel at least $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower. pic.twitter.com/WQfJUrW42D
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) August 9, 2021
The extension also took place as Biden extended the eviction moratorium, a controversial move that bans landlords from evicting tenants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.