‘The Debt Is Too Damn High’: Student Loan Payments Paused Until Fall

With President Joe Biden's decision to delay federal student loan repayments until September, many in Congress are calling for cancellation of up to $50,000 per person of student loan debt. (Image via Shutterstock)

By Sarah Ovaska

April 6, 2022

The president announced an extended pause on student loan repayment, as NC’s Alma Adams and nearly 100 Democrats in Congress call for debt cancellation.

You’ve got a few more months of relief from paying back your federal student loans.

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday another extension on the pause on student loan payments, the sixth extension since  COVID upended the nation’s economy in March 2020.

The average student loan payment is $393 a month, and the pause comes as gas, food and rent prices have surged from inflation, leaving little wiggle room in the budgets of many.  

Repayment was supposed to start back up May 1. It will now be on hold through Aug. 31.

“This continued pause will help Americans breathe a little easier as we recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” Biden said in a statement.

Nearly 100 Dems in Congress: Cancel Debt

The pause from Biden came a day after more than 100 Democrats in the US House and US Senate called for student debt not to just be delayed, but have up to $50,000 per person canceled. When running for president, Biden said he would seek to cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for each person.

The load of students has gone up drastically in the last two decades, as higher education costs soared. Black and Latino students are more likely to take out significant levels of student loans to finance their higher education, while white students are more apt to be able to lean on family support because of race-related disparities in generational wealth.  

Among those calling for permanent relief from what can be crippling student loans was US Rep. Alma Adams, a Greensboro Democrat who taught for four decades at Bennett College, one of North Carolina’s private historically black colleges and universities.

“The debt is too damn high!” Adams said Tuesday, castigating predatory loan practices that often make the pursuit of higher education a burden. “Instead of making higher education a place to develop the mind, body, and soul, we’ve turned college and university into another barrier that keeps families out of the middle class.”


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