Student Loan Payments Resume After 3-Year Hiatus

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Student loan payments resumed Sunday after student loan borrowers’ payments were put on pause for over three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Biden administration has reactivated the accounts of more than 28 million borrowers for repayment, The Hill reported. President Joe Biden initially committed to initiating a broad student loan forgiveness program while campaigning ahead of the 2020 election, Forbes reported Oct. 7, 2020. He pledged specifically to eliminate such debt if the individual attended a public university and came from a family that earned less than $125,000. Biden also called for all borrowers to get $10,000 “knocked off their student debt” in light of the pandemic. (RELATED: Republicans Launch Latest Effort To Thwart Biden’s ‘Reckless’ Student Loan Scheme)

The United States Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in June 2023 effectively blocked President Joe Biden’s loan forgiveness scheme that centered around the 2003 HEROES Act. The Court ruled Biden’s interpretation of the powers granted to him by that 2003 act was erroneous and cited former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statements over what the act allowed the president to do in its majority decision.

“People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress,” Pelosi said at a press conference in 2021. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Biden administration reaffirmed its commitment to loan forgiveness and began forgiving $39 billion in student loans for thousands of borrowers who have been in repayments for over 20 years. The new plan would not penalize those who did not make their loan payments within the first year, beginning Sunday.

The White House announced in June it would be initiating a “12-month ‘on-ramp’ to repayment, running from October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024, so that financially vulnerable borrowers who miss monthly payments during this period are not considered delinquent, reported to credit bureaus, placed in default, or referred to debt collection agencies.”

“It’s a sad day for student loan borrowers and for the country that student loans have to come back on, especially with the threat of a looming government shutdown, potentially on the same day. It’s just wild,” Student Debt Crisis Center president and founder Natalia Abrams said in late September, The Hill reported.

“This conversation [over debt forgiveness] distracts us from the core problem, which is making student loan money too easy, which causes tuition to rise and does not address what’s needed, which is that colleges need tough love to end their addiction to tuition,” Heritage Foundation visiting fellow Adam Kissel told the outlet.