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Connecticut Congressman Courtney pushes for extension of federal student loan payment freeze

Fred Beckham
/
Associated Press
U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney, D-CT

U.S. Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut wants the Biden administration to extend the student loan payment pause until the end of the pandemic.

Courtney is working with California Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell. They want to persuade Congress to provide 0% interest on student loans indefinitely.

“It takes no position in terms of principal balance,” Courtney said. “I do think it gets at one of the cancers in student loan borrowing, which is the metastasizing of interest.”

A report from the Education Data Initiative shows the average federal student loan debt is $37,113.

The Biden administration did mention that it may further extend the freeze past May 1 for tens of millions of borrowers as the Education Department weighs a final decision.

“We’re still not at the end of the national public health emergency,” said Courtney. “I think our request to the president really was that it’s still premature to move forward and allow that existing status quo to kick back in.”

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.