Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Hails White House Decision to Extend Pause on Student Loan Payments

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement that it will extend the pause on federal student loan payments for borrowers until the end of January 2022:

“Millions of student loan borrowers across this country just breathed a massive sigh of relief. K-12 educators, nurses, higher education faculty and public employees work in fields that require college degrees, which have left them saddled with massive student loan payments. The temporary reprieve from these payments during the pandemic has allowed them to navigate the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis. Today President Biden extended that much-needed break in their payments.

“As I testified in Congress recently, our next step is clear: make sustainable, long-term repairs to the broken student federal loan system so borrowers can access complete and accurate information about their debt and enroll in the appropriate repayment plans, including Public Service Loan Forgiveness. These fixes—along with the cancellation of up to $50,000 of debt per borrower—are critical to our recovery and will lift millions out of an affordability crisis and offer them an opportunity to participate in our country’s economy.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.