New Proposal Would Extend Student Loan Payment Pause And Cancel Student Loans

Zack Friedman

student loans
President Joe Biden (Photo by Saul Loeb – Pool/Getty Images)  GETTY IMAGES 


This new proposal would extend the student loan payment pause and cancel student loans.

Here’s what you need to know — and what it means for your student loans.


Student Loans

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, is calling on President Joe Biden to extend the student loan payment pause to at least 2023 and cancel student loans for borrowers. (However, these Republicans want to end the student loan payment pause).

“This loan system is unacceptable and we can fix it,” Murray said. “When you get a loan to afford higher education, you deserve a system that works. It should be easy to enroll in a sensible repayment plan, no one should end up with a monthly payment they can’t afford, and debt relief shouldn’t require making it through a gauntlet of paperwork. This is not too much to ask—so until we fix our student loan system, the student loan payment pause must continue to provide borrowers much-needed relief.”

Student loans: extend the payment pause and cancel student loans

Murray offered a four-point plan to help deliver student loan relief to student loan borrowers:

1. Give struggling student loan borrowers a fresh start

First, Murray says that student loan borrowers who were in student loan default before the student loan payment pause started in March 2020 should be placed back into good standing. This means that these student loan borrowers should have their negative credit histories cleared and should be able to rehabilitate their student loans.

2. Income-driven repayment should be better for borrowers and easier to access

Second, Murray is championing a plan from Senate Democrats that makes income-driven repayment “more generous and easier to access.” Specifically, the new income-driven repayment plan would:


  • be available to all student loan borrowers;
  • have a simple enrollment process;
  • prevent student loan debt from increasing too much;
  • cap monthly student loan payments at no more than 10% of discretionary income; and
  • replace existing income-driven repayment plans.


(Biden will cancel $6.2 billion of student loans)

3. Ensure more student loan borrowers get student loan forgiveness

Third, Murray wants to ensure that more student loan borrowers get student loan forgiveness. For example, Murray says the U.S. Department of Education should extend the deadline for the temporary waiver for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The Biden administration has made major changes to student loan forgiveness. Now, student loan payments that were previously ineligible for public service loan forgiveness can be counted if a student loan borrower completes a limited waiver by October 31, 2022. Murray wants that deadline extended so that more student loan borrowers can access student loan forgiveness.

(6 major changes to student loan forgiveness)

4. Cancel student loans for all student loan borrowers

Fourth, Murray wants student loan cancellation for all student loan borrowers. (Biden could deliver student loan cancellation and student loan payment pause this year). Interestingly, she is one of the few senators that has called for prioritizing student loan cancellation for specific constituencies within the greater borrower population. For example, Murray would prioritize student loan cancellation for “those struggling the most,” including student loan borrowers:


  • of color;
  • with low income;
  • who have been making student loan payments for 20 years; and
  • that left college without a degree or credential.


(Student Loan Cancellation Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means).

The student loan payment pause is scheduled to end after May 1, 2022. While it’s possible that student loan relief could be extended, there is no guarantee. Therefore, student loan borrowers should prepare for the restart of student loan payments. This includes evaluating all your options for student loan repayment.

Here some popular ways to save money for your student loans:



Student Loans: Related Reading

Biden will cancel $6.2 billion of student loans

Biden could extend the student loan payment pause forever

6 major changes to student loan forgiveness

Student loan refinancing rates just got ridiculously cheap

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