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Biden order keeps moratorium on some student loan payments

Pennsylvania college graduates rank among the highest in terms of student debt, with an average of nearly $40,000, according to a report last year.

  • Kate Giammarise/WESA
In this June 20, 2019, photo a Virginia Commonwealth University student walks past the library at the school in Richmond, Va.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

In this June 20, 2019, photo a Virginia Commonwealth University student walks past the library at the school in Richmond, Va.

(Pittsburgh) — President Joe Biden is asking the Education Department to extend a pause on federal student loan payments through at least Sept. 30.

The moratorium had been in place since last March, but was set to expire at the end of this month.

Pennsylvania college graduates rank among the highest in terms of student debt, with an average of nearly $40,000, according to a report last year.

“Obviously, during the pandemic, this moratorium has been hugely beneficial to many of those millions of borrowers,” said Andrew Pentis, a senior writer at the website Student Loan Hero. “They can redirect those funds to maybe higher priority issues, such as maybe they have high interest credit card debt as a result of the pandemic, maybe they have medical bills to deal with, maybe they lost some or all of their income as a result of the pandemic.”

President Joe Biden signs his first executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

President Joe Biden signs his first executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington.

Borrowers, who owe a collective $1.5 trillion, would not be required to make payments on their federal student loans, their loans would not accrue any interest, and all debt collection activity would halt through September.

Biden’s order does not include the type of mass debt cancellation that some Democrats asked him to orchestrate through executive action. He has said that action should come from Congress.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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