January 21, 2021 | WASHINGTON, DC — Student Borrower Protection Center Executive Director Seth Frotman released the following statement on President Biden signing an executive order to extend the student loan payment pause for federal student loan borrowers through September 30, 2021, supporting the President’s action and calling on Washington to ensure that all student loan borrowers, including millions of private student loan borrowers, are protected during the pandemic.
“This action will ensure that tens of millions of student loan borrowers will no longer be forced to resume payments at the worst possible time as the pandemic resurges. While this is a relief to those who are covered, there is much more work to be done. Millions of Americans continue to struggle without a lifeline during this challenging time. Since the start of the pandemic, nine million borrowers with private student loans and older federal loans owned by private companies have been left without relief or support. These student loan borrowers deserve help.”
Those with private student loans, federal Perkins loans, and commercially held federal student loans are not covered by the payment pause. This amounts to roughly 9 million borrowers and over $300 billion in student loans without relief.
Even before the pandemic, our nation faced a $1.7 trillion student debt crisis as another borrower defaulted every 26 seconds. President Biden has a historic opportunity to reform our broken student loan system and improve the lives of the 45 million Americans with student debt. We look forward to the new administration getting to work.