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8 - That’s how many more months federal student loan borrowers will be relieved of payments and interest, thanks to an extension requested by President Biden.

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That’s how many more months federal student loan borrowers will be relieved of payments and interest, thanks to an extension requested by President Joe Biden on his first day in office.

Forbearance on federal student loans, one of a number of government relief measures triggered by the pandemic’s crush on the economy, is set to expire on Jan. 31. But Biden said one of his first acts as president Wednesday would be to ask the Department of Education (DOE) to extend the reprieve through Sept. 30.

An extension would apply to federal student loans that are held by the DOE, the Biden administration said. Some 35.9 million people had $1.3 trillion in outstanding direct federal student loans as of the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the Office of Federal Student Aid.