The pause on federal student loan payments, interest, and collections has been extended until Jan. 31, 2022.
The Department of Education made the announcement Friday afternoon and said it will be the final extension.
Before the extension, the student loan payment moratorium that was put in place to help those struggling during the pandemic was set to expire on Sept. 30.
The department says it believes this additional time will allow borrowers to plan for the resumption of payments and reduce the risk of delinquency and defaults once payments resume.
The department says it will continue its work to transition borrowers smoothly back into repayment, including by improving student loan servicing.
“The payment pause has been a lifeline that allowed millions of Americans to focus on their families, health, and finances instead of student loans during the national emergency,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for restart and ensure a smooth pathway back to repayment. It is the Department’s priority to support students and borrowers during this transition and ensure they have the resources they need to access affordable, high quality higher education.”
The department says it will begin notifying borrowers about this final extension in the coming days, and it will release resources and information about how to plan for payments to restart as the end of the pause approaches.