In October, student loan payments resumed for some 28 million borrowers.
Payments were first paused under the Trump administration in 2020. The stay was extended eight times.
Tracking by the Department of Education showed 60% of borrowers had made a payment by mid-November.
Close to 4 million borrowers made their first payment during that time.
Department officials said it was likely some people who paused their payments already had trouble paying before the COVID-19 pandemic, too, and may struggle to resume paying.
"While most borrowers have already made their first payment, others will need more time," U.S. Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal wrote in a blog post on the matter last week. "Some are confused or overwhelmed about their options. We want to make sure borrowers know that our top priority is to support student loan borrowers as they return to repayment."
The Education Department is pointing borrowers toward its on-ramp process that will help them resume payments and avoid certain consequences along the way. Until September 2024, borrowers will be protected from default, delinquency and mandatory collections.
The Biden administration this year also launched the income-driven SAVE Plan, which sets payments on a scale based on what borrowers earn every year. The plan eliminates runaway interest growth for borrowers. Under the SAVE Plan, those making less than $15 an hour are not required to make payments on their student debt.
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