U.S. lawmakers request extension to student loan interest waiver, and other current student loan news for the week of Dec. 13, 2021

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A group of lawmakers sent President Biden a letter last week urging him to continue waiving federal student loan interest, citing persistent coronavirus-related financial strain on federal borrowers. Read on to learn more about this week’s student loan news.

1 current trend within student loans for the week of Dec. 13, 2021

1. U.S. senators request a student loan interest waiver when federal forbearance ends

Last week, a group of 14 U.S. senators led by Sen. Raphael Warnock sent a letter to the Biden administration asking for interest to be waived on federal student loans even after the forbearance period ends on Jan. 31, 2022.

“Many are still dealing with financial challenges as our nation works to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter reads. “The accumulation of interest and ballooning student loan bills would be an undue burden to borrowers navigating the return to repayment process.”

The senators claim that interest charges take a particularly hard toll on low-income borrowers and those with a lot of debt, and that the current waiver of student loan interest is saving borrowers $5 billion each month.

How this affects student loans

An interest waiver wouldn’t remove the burden of student loan payments entirely, but it could take some of the sting out of payments resuming in February. With that said, borrowers should still plan for a return to the status quo, interest included.

Those who anticipate financial hardship due to their monthly payments should consider federal payment relief plans, like income-driven repayment plans. Borrowers can also apply for a forbearance extension with their servicer once payments resume.

Federal student loan servicers have started reaching out to borrowers about the resumption of payments via email, phone call or mail. If you haven’t received any information yet, check your account details to make sure that your personal information is correct, or contact your servicer directly to stay informed.

Key takeaway
Senators are urging President Biden to continue waiving interest on federal student loans after Jan. 31, 2022.

Here’s how you can get prepared

Whether you’re new to student loans or well into repayment, it’s wise to stay informed about how your student loan rates could change. As 2021 continues, more opportunities for cheaper loans or loan forgiveness could open up; keep an eye on the Bankrate student loans news hub for the latest trends.

Learn more:

Written by
Hanneh Bareham
Student loans reporter
Hanneh Bareham specializes in everything related to student loans and helping you finance your next educational endeavor. She aims to help others reach their collegiate and financial goals through making student loans easier to understand.
Edited by
Student loans editor