On Friday, the Biden Administration said it has decided to extend its pause on federal student loan payments, along with interest, through January 31, 2022. The administration added that this would be the final extension.

Both loan payments and interest have all been on hold since the pandemic started. The payments were set to come back in October this year prior to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Education.

“The payment pause has been a lifeline that allowed millions of Americans to focus on their families, health, and finances instead of student loans during the national emergency,” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a press release. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for restart and ensure a smooth pathway back to repayment.”

President Joe Biden also released a statement, in which he said that the pause has been critical to the young people who are still suffering financially despite recent signs of recovery from the pandemic.

“The pause has been a critical lifeline so they don’t have to choose between paying for basic necessities or their student loan during the pandemic that upended their lives,” Biden said in a statement Friday.

“As today’s jobs numbers show, we have the tools that will allow us to beat COVID-19 and keep our economy recovering at a record rate,” he added, referring to the July jobs report released this week. “But we know there is more work to do and the road will still be long for many people – especially for the one in six adults and one in three young people who have federal student loans.”

Many Republicans denounced the federal government’s student loan decision.

“This extension does a grave disservice to borrowers across the country, and our children will pay the ultimate price for this irresponsible delay,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-New York) said in a statement Friday. “Secretary Cardona is using the permanent pandemic narrative to wield power rather than enact responsible solutions to help borrowers get back on track. I regret that Secretary Cardona did not show real leadership by working with Congress to transition responsibly the portfolio back into repayment by Oct. 1 of this year. It is nothing less than a dereliction of duty.”

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