was both a surprise and a game-changer for student loan borrowers. The Biden administration, including the U.S. Department of Education, made it clear for months: the temporary student loan forbearance that started in March 2020 would not be extended beyond January 31, 2022. The end of student loan relief had been planned for months, and U.S. Secretary Miguel Cardona said there would be no further extensions. The Education Department even sent written correspondence to borrowers advising on the end of student loan relief and how they should prepare to restart student loan payments beginning February 1. However, that all changed last week when Biden announced student loan borrowers would get another three-month extension.
This is now the fifth extension of temporary student loan relief from the Cares Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March 2020. President Donald Trump signed the Cares Act into law, and then extended student loan relief twice after the provisions expired in September 2020. As president, Biden has extended the same student loan relief three times, providing student loan borrowers with a financial lifeline during the Covid-19 pandemic.