Most people can quote, off the top of their heads, how much they owe in student loan debt.
“We have 45 million Americans who have student loan debt,” said Kat Welbeck of Student Borrower Protection Center Director of Advocacy and Civil Rights. “Federal student loan payment, the vast majority of student loan borrowers have federal student loans, have been paused since March of 2020. So, there have been several payment pause extensions along the way.”
Welbeck explained the most recent extension was in December 2021 and is set to expire May 1.
“We think this payment pause is really important. It gives time for the administration to deliver on the promise of fixing our broken student loan system,” Welbeck said. “President Biden promised to deliver on debt relief in the form of student loan cancellation and then fix our broken student loan programs.”
Groups like Student Borrower Protection are pushing for student loan cancellations.
“We ask, please don’t send people back into a broken system before you fix it when we have this moment in time where we can fix it where people are not also making payments,” Welbeck said.
Welbeck said there has been some progress with changes.
“For example, for people who work in public service, there is public service student loan forgiveness and we’ve seen the administration make changes to that program during this payment pause period,” Welback said. “We’ve seen them take action for borrowers who were defrauded by for-profit schools.”