Biden Administration Extends Student Loan Payment Suspension Until May 1, 2022

The payment suspension for most federal student loans will now last until May 1, 2022.

By , Attorney

On December 22, 2021, the Biden Administration announced that the U.S. Department of Education will extend the suspension of payments for most federal student loans again, through May 1, 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 May 1, 2022.

Which Student Loans Does the Payment 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 nondefaulted 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 May 1, 2022. Any borrower with defaulted federal loans whose wages are garnished can get a refund.

Suspended Payments Count Toward Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan Forgiveness, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), and Rehabilitation

Suspended payments will count as qualifying payments for the purposes of student loan forgiveness programs, including IDR forgiveness and PSLF forgiveness.

Also, borrowers in default will have their suspended payments count towards the months needed for loan rehabilitation. Suspended payments after the date of the rehabilitation agreement will count toward the required nine payments needed to rehabilitate a loan. If you don't accrue nine months of qualifying suspended or required payments by the end of the payment suspension, you'll have to start making payments when the payment suspension ends to complete the rehabilitation.

Earlier Student Loan Relief Under the Biden Administration

Since taking over the presidency, President Biden has canceled billions of dollars in federal student loan debt. In addition to the student loan relief discussed in this article, the Biden administration has:

Also, the American Rescue Plan Act exempts student debt forgiveness from federal taxation until January 1, 2026, and covers Direct Loans, FFELs, and private student loans.

Effective date: December 22, 2021