OPINION: Biden Should Extend Payment Pause for Student Loans
In January 2022, millions of Americans with student loan debt will be expected to start making payments again. This may be too soon for young people, particularly recent graduates.
By Blue Future Youth Contributor, Rachel Lipofsky
This January, the Biden Administration’s student loan payment moratorium will come to an end. This means that millions of federal student loan borrowers will be expected to start making payments again after having their payments optionally paused since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, I argue that this still may be too soon, especially for young people.
Amid the pandemic, recent college graduates are continuing to struggle to find a job — with more college graduates being out of work. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 69% of adults ages 20 to 29 who had graduated from college during the previous spring were employed, compared to 2019 where 78% of graduates were employed.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also recently predicted that the jobless rates for younger workers will improve slower than the overall rate. Essentially, the unemployment rate is disproportionately affecting younger workers in certain sectors.
Another key aspect I want to touch on is how there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the economy. The CBO noted that their projections “reflect an average of possible outcomes under current law.” With this said, there are still underlying variables that make it difficult to evaluate the pandemic’s impact on the economy over the longer term.
It’s clear that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the economy and it has not fully recovered yet with many recent graduates still out of work, so January 2022 may be too soon for many. President Joe Biden is underestimating the amount of time people need to financially recover from the pandemic and to resume payments again.
As we are still dealing with the financial consequences of an on-going pandemic, Biden should still provide Americans with the option to pause their student loan payments without interest accruing.
About Rachel: Rachel (she/her) is a graduate of Indiana University. She previously was a copy editor for her university’s student-run paper, and is excited to continue her work in writing about current policy issues.