Borrowers haven’t had to make payments since March, but the relief was set to expire on December 31. DeVos also extended the pause of interest accrual, as well as the suspension of collections on defaulted loans.
A broader version of student loan relief was included in the $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law two weeks later. Under the program, the US government automatically suspended payments and waived interest on federal student loans through September. Trump later moved the expiration date to the end of the year by executive action.
The suspension and interest waiver applies only to federally held loans. That covers roughly 85% of all federal student loans, including those known as Direct federal loans and PLUS loans that parents can take out on behalf of their children.
It excludes some federal loans that are guaranteed by the government but not technically held by it. Generally, those were disbursed prior to 2010.
While borrowers won’t have to make payments through January 31, they will continue to be able to do so and benefit from the 0% interest rate.