New Jersey lawmakers ask Biden to extend pause on federal student loan payments

(The Center Square) – Dozens of federal Democratic lawmakers, including several from New Jersey, have signed a letter calling on President Joe Biden to extend the pause on federal student loan payments.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, all Democrats from the Garden State, are among the lawmakers who want Biden to extend the pause on payments for borrowers with direct federal loans.

Biden previously extended the pause through Sept. 30, and payments are set to resume on Oct. 1. The lawmakers want the pause extended through at least March 31.

According to the lawmakers, the U.S. Department of Education has provided approximately $72 billion in relief on student loan interest, and Americans owe roughly $1.6 trillion in student loans. They argue that restarting student loan payments could lead to more problems.

“The suspension of payments and interest during the pandemic has provided essential relief to borrowers and their families during this economic and public health crisis,” the lawmakers wrote.

“The scheduled resumption of student loan payments in October could create a significant drag on our economic recovery,” the lawmakers wrote. “Before the pandemic, the average student loan payment was between $200 and $299 per month – a substantial part of a household budget, and money that is desperately needed for basic needs.”

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