Extended Student Loan Payment Pause Underscores Importance of Continued Advocacy to Address Debt Crisis

The Biden administration’s decision to extend the pause follows mounting pressure from activists to keep its promises on student loan debt 

Austin, TX — Today, the Biden administration announced it would extend the pause on federal student loan payments until May 1, finally responding to months of advocacy from young people on student loan debt cancellation. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Americans with student debt faced renewed monthly payments at the end of January, despite the ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty.

“The student debt crisis affects the daily life and long-term opportunities of millions of young Americans,” NextGen America President Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez said. “Extending the existing pause on debt payments is a victory for working people in every community in America, and we want to give credit to those who got it done: the tireless young activists who are living with the consequences of debt everyday, and using their experiences to force our government to do the right thing. We owe this win to the power of the people, who kept fighting until their leaders finally listened.”

“That said, we must be honest about the moment we’re in: Young people face historic challenges brought on not just by the pandemic but by decades of neglect and under-investment in the institutions that ensure opportunity and basic security,” Tzintzún Ramirez said. “The student debt crisis is a glaring symptom of that neglect, and the only real solution is full cancellation. President Biden made a commitment to end the debt crisis, and young people will continue to organize, mobilize and hold him accountable to that promise.”

NextGen has played a key role in advocating for student debt cancellation in recent years. In addition to making millions of calls and texts to young voters, NextGen has helped 12,250 borrowers send letters to President Biden sharing their personal stories and emphasizing the need for debt cancellation.

“Today’s action by the White House sends a clear message to young people: your voice matters. This victory proves what can happen when we organize, even if it is but one step toward the larger goal of full debt cancellation,” NextGen America National Political Manager Justin Atkins said. “Young people of color turned out in record numbers to elect Biden, and they’re also the ones disproportionately impacted by the burdens of student debt. We must keep up the fight to hold this administration accountable to its promises, and build a future where a chance at opportunity doesn’t come at an impossible price.”



About NextGen America

NextGen America is the leading national organization for engaging young people through voter education, registration and mobilization. We invite 18-to-35 year olds — the largest and most diverse generation in American history — into our democracy to ensure our government works for them and to find new solutions to the dire challenges facing our society and the world. Since 2013, NextGen America has registered more than 1.4 million young voters and educated many millions more, delivering more than the margin of victory for progressives in key races and building an electorate that will lead American politics for decades to come.