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Biden quietly deciding how to restart student loan payments

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The Biden administration is developing plans for how it will restart federal student loan payments early next year when the pandemic pause on monthly payments for tens of millions of Americans ends, according to documents obtained by POLITICO and two sources familiar with the plans.

The Education Department is eyeing proposals that would give borrowers new flexibility as they face student loan bills for the first time in nearly two years, such as an initial grace period for missed payments, the documents and sources show.

Officials are also looking at policies to make it easier for millions of borrowers to remain enrolled in income-based repayment programs to avoid a sudden increase in their monthly payment amount. And the administration is actively considering a sweeping plan to expunge the defaults of borrowers who were struggling even before the pandemic.

The plans, some of which are still in progress and not finalized, are aimed at averting a potential surge in delinquencies when payments resume in February, which the Biden administration announced in August.

Turning back on the federal government’s massive, $1.6 trillion student lending apparatus that’s largely been frozen for nearly two years is an unprecedented logistical challenge for the Education Department. It’s also full of political pitfalls as progressives urge the administration to focus on widespread debt forgiveness rather than resuming payments.

More than 40 million federal student loan borrowers have benefited from the........

© Politico

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