Biden Administration Extends Student Loan Payment Suspension Through January 31, 2022

The payment suspension for most federal student loans will now last through January 31, 2022.

On August 6, 2021, the Biden Administration announced that the U.S. Department of Education will extend the suspension of payments for most federal student loans one last time, through January 31, 2022. Borrowers will have their payments automatically suspended without penalty or accrual of interest.

Collection actions, wage garnishments, and Treasury offsets for defaulted federal student loans are also paused through January 31, 2022.

Which Student Loans Does the Suspension Cover?

The suspension applies to Federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FFELs), but only FFELs that the U.S. Department of Education owns—not FFELs held by other entities. Borrowers with Perkins Loans held by entities other than the Department of Education also aren't covered.

Private student loan borrowers don't get relief either. If you have private student loans, call your lender to see if any alternatives are available to help you out during the coronavirus crisis. Some states have reached agreements with servicers to help borrowers who don't have federal student loans.

Continuing Prohibition on Collection Actions, Wage Garnishments, and Treasury Offsets

Again, collection actions, wage garnishments, and Treasury offsets for defaulted federal student loans are on hold through January 31, 2022. Any borrower with defaulted federal loans whose wages are garnished can get a refund.

Effect on Loan Forgiveness and Rehabilitation

During the suspension, the nonpayments will still count as qualifying payments for student loan forgiveness programs, including Public Service Loan Forgiveness. They'll also count toward the number of payments required under an income-driven repayment plan and the nine months needed for loan rehabilitation.

Managing Your Student Loans During the Coronavirus Outbreak

To learn more about handling your federal student loans during the COVID-19 pandemic, see How to Manage Your Federal Student Loans During the Coronavirus Outbreak.

Effective date: August 6, 2021